Prelude no. 4 from Op. 23

Rachmaninoff composed this set of preludes in the Hotel America in 1901-3, financially dependent on his cousin Alexander Siloti, to whom they are dedicated. He never played all of them in one sitting, preferring to cycle through a rotating mix of his favorites. Nonethe, certain characteristics of the work, such as the recurrence of stepwise motion, common chords between adjacent preludes, and the bookended relationship between the first and last preludes (both marked Largo, with the latter in the parallel major of the former) suggest that the works could be played as a set. Together with Op. 32 and Op. 3, Rachmaninoff's Preludes represent all twenty-four major and minor keys.

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