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Topic: Shostakovich Preludes Op.34  (Read 7441 times)

Offline Jaydee

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Shostakovich Preludes Op.34
on: January 09, 2004, 01:42:04 PM
I want to learn one of the preludes from the Op.34 preludes that Shostakovich wrote.  I was wondering if anyone of you who are familiar with these preludes recommend any particular prelude?

Also, are there any sites out there that offer mp3's or streaming of these preludes so I can have a listen to them?


Offline bernhard

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Re: Shostakovich Preludes Op.34
Reply #1 on: January 09, 2004, 07:10:03 PM
Tatiana Nikolaieva recorded the complete set for Hyperium. When I first heard them, I found them exceedingly dull :(. However over the years I have grown a fondness for them :). Although they are definitely modern music, they have far more structure and tonality than the more radical modern music (I think Stalin saw to that!). The majority are all very funny and full of humour (there are a couple of lugubrious ones). Most of them feature “wrong-note” writing.

These are the ones I like the best (purely subjective taste):

No. 3 – Andante – Beautiful lyrical writing, in an impressionist style. Starts like nocturne, and near the end has a noisy passage.
No. 5 – Allegro vivace. Very fast, reminds me of a Czerny exercise for the right hand (maybe Shostakovitch was making a parody here, similar to Debussy’s Dr. Gradus)
No. 6 – Allegretto – Very funny polka style with all you could expect from modern music: dissonances, big jumps, sudden changes of key, bitonality, wrong-note writing.
No. 9 – A fast tarantella-like piece.
No. 10 – Moderato non troppo – Another beautiful lyrical piece with a nice melody and not so dissonant as the others.
No. 12 – Allegro non troppo - If no. 5 was Czerny for the right hand, this is for the left hand. The right hand crosses over frequently. Not as dissonant as the others.
No. 14 –  Adagio - Arguably the best of the set, very lugubrious, making full use of the piano’s orchestral sounds. Actually I read somewhere that Stokowski made an orchestral version of this prelude (I haven’t heard it though).
No. 15 – Allegretto -  very nice waltz, with the typical waltz accompaniment first on the right hand, then on the left. Very jolly.
No.16 – Andantino – Another humorous piece, march-like, with lots of “wrong-note” writing.
No. 17 – Largo - A lyrical slow piece.
No. 19 – Andantino – Another lyrical piece vaguely reminiscent of Mendelssohn’s Venetian Boat Songs.
No. 24 – Nice end piece, gavotte style, quite funny.

Best wishes,

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