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The “Picardy” major third in Chopin’s incredibly sad c-sharp minor Nocturne

What a liberating, even redemptive impact that the unexpected major third closing a piece in the minor can have, is known above all to those of us who play and listen to Bach. To give just one example that everyone would know: The strictly and relentlessly advancing c-minor prelude from the first volume of the “Well-Tempered Clavier” bursts into bloom on the very last beat with a wonderful C-major triad.

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