When I returned to the piano shortly after my 40th birthday, at first I dutifully studied the Clementi Sonatinas.
Chopin Raindrop Prelude
The repeated tenor notes, which patter underneath all but a few of the measures in the Chopin Raindrop Prelude—first A-flat, then G-sharp, then back to A-flat again, so evocative of raindrops—make the piece almost wholly unique in classical piano music.
When I returned to the piano after a 25-year hiatus, I struggled with tempo rubato. I could not conceive how to inject my music with these mysterious elongations and compressions in the tempo.
For over a year, while studying Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude in my adult piano lessons, I often stumbled into an A-flat trap. In the expansion of the dreamy, opening melody, I launched off a bass A-flat into nowhere, flummoxed on which notes I should strike next.