Chopin was born in Poland in 1810 and later settled in Paris. He had a famous love affair with the French novelist Amantine Dupin, best known by her pseudonym, George Sand. Chopin died of tuberculosis at the age of 39.
Chopin composed during the Romantic period (roughly the 19th century). Music of the Romantic period was highly emotional and expressive with strong lyrical melodies and rich harmony.
Most Romantic composers, including Schubert, Brahms and Liszt, wrote short piano pieces. Nearly all of Chopin’s compositions are for piano.
They include nocturnes, waltzes, studies (etudes), and two piano concertos. Chopin’s piano pieces were written to be played at home as well as in the concert hall.
The Prelude in D Flat Major was completed in 1839. It is taken from a set of 24 preludes (one for each of the 12 major keys and one for each of the 12 minor keys).
A musical prelude is often an introductory piece but not in this case. The short pieces are self-contained and stand-alone.
The Prelude in D Flat Major flat is nicknamed the ‘Raindrop Prelude’. It is often said that this refers to the persistent repeated notes which sound like rain falling. However, Chopin disliked descriptive titles and he did not give it this nickname. The idea came from Amantine Dupin who told of the sound of dripping water falling on the roof where they were staying in Majorca.