Prelude No. 2 for Piano (2:38)

Cover of The Essential George Gershwin

From The Essential George Gershwin and 14 other releases

Andante con moto e poco rubato

The second Prelude, in C sharp minor, also has the distinct flavour of jazz. The piece begins with a sad melody wending its way above a smooth, steady bassline. The harmonies and melodies of this piece are built on thirds, emphasizing both the interval of the seventh and the major/minor duality of the blues scale. In the second section, the key, tempo, and thematic material all change; only the similarity of style binds the two sections together. The opening melody and bass return in the final section, more succinct but otherwise unchanged, and the piece ends with a slow ascent of the keyboard. Gershwin himself referred to the piece as “a sort of blues lullaby.”

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