Author Topic: Shostakovich's Preludes and Fugues  (Read 43338 times)

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Offline hvbias

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Re: Shostakovich's Preludes and Fugues
« Reply #220 on: June 26, 2022, 01:31:53 PM »
The Weichert is readily available both from Presto and Amazon, at very good prices for what is effectively a 4-disc set, but downloads only.  (But hey, this is the 21st century.)  The other piano music included is interesting I suppose, but only the 2nd Sonata really adds value.  So judge the price and value on the Preludes & Fugues alone - Amazon is very cheap but to have MP3s only of what is actually one of the best-recorded sets out there is rather a shame.

I agree with your general assessment of the Levit but personally I find the recorded sound problematic - as mentioned upthread - perhaps I'm just unlucky and something at the treble end sets off some resonance in my B&W speakers.  The Stevenson was recorded at a different location and sounds a bit better to me - but, like the other items included with the Weichert set, this is essentially a 'free' inclusion and I'm unlikely to listen to it much if at all - I already have 3 other recordings and I don't listen to those either!

I would expect an up-coming new recording of the P&F from Eugenio Catone sometime in the next 12 months - he has vols 1 & 2 of DSCH piano music already released.

Did you try Levit on headphones? I still have not progressed past p/f 8 from my previous post. Oddly I can listen to WTC on harpsichord or piano any time, any place but I have to really be in the mood to hear op. 87 which I find a bit vapid in comparison, though without the comparison a very fine set of pieces.
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Offline aukhawk

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Re: Shostakovich's Preludes and Fugues
« Reply #221 on: June 27, 2022, 03:13:35 AM »
Yes I have listened to a few tracks from Levit on decent planar headphones (HiFiMan 400i) but still find the sound - well 'clangorous' is the word, maybe that's a bit harsh it's not that bad, it's just that I expect better from a modern recording.  Maybe the resonance isn't so much in my speakers as in my head  :)  but I don't hear it at all from Weichert, or Bond, or Lin, or Nikolayeva/Hyperion - to name my favourites.

The composer's recordings are also available via a series of singles on the Naxos label, by the way.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2022, 03:17:51 AM by aukhawk »

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Shostakovich's Preludes and Fugues
« Reply #222 on: June 27, 2022, 09:46:55 AM »
(...)

The composer's recordings are also available via a series of singles on the Naxos label, by the way.

True,
one with nos. 2-5, 12, 14, 16,
one with nos.6, 8, 20, 22, 24,
a third including 6, 7, 8 plus concerti etc.,
so more missing, it seems.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2022, 09:49:27 AM by MusicTurner »

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Shostakovich's Preludes and Fugues
« Reply #223 on: July 12, 2022, 01:16:06 PM »
Landed today. Looking forward to wading in ... but mildly disappointed at the plastic clam-shell.
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Shostakovich's Preludes and Fugues
« Reply #224 on: July 13, 2022, 08:18:26 AM »
True,
one with nos. 2-5, 12, 14, 16,
one with nos.6, 8, 20, 22, 24,
a third including 6, 7, 8 plus concerti etc.,
so more missing, it seems.

Having mentioned these Naxos releases, I should add that for thirteen of these (but sadly Nos. 2, 3, 7 are not included) the sound on the excellent Shostakovich Plays Shostakovich collection is much to be preferred to the Naxos versions.


Shostakovich Plays Shostakovich

Offline milk

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Re: Shostakovich's Preludes and Fugues
« Reply #225 on: September 26, 2022, 01:21:43 AM »

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Shostakovich's Preludes and Fugues
« Reply #226 on: September 27, 2022, 12:14:49 AM »
I'm not familiar with Minnaar's other recordings but, listening quickly to a few selected tracks (7-10,13,14) via Spotify -

There is a general lightness of touch, in Fugue No.7 the gossamer-like textures are most beautifully rendered.
There is rubato, almost Chopin-esque.  Prelude No.8 is anything but metronomic.  I prefer a more severe approach in this piece myself.
In the slow Fugues (No.8, No.10) he shows a tendency to not hang about.  No sense of trying to wring the last ounce of 'feeling' from the music.
In the central, pivotal, introspective Fugue No.13 again he seems to underplay his hand - most enjoyable, but not entirely satisfying.
Prelude 14 - not my favourite piece with its hammered ostinato that often descends into banging - this is the best I've ever heard it played, the characteristic light touch pays dividends here and there is much more colourful chromaticism than I usually hear in this music.

That's as far as I got.  Overall - especially with the rubato - I was reminded of Nikolayeva's final recording (without actually making any detailed comparison you understand) - though she has more of a magisterial touch, Minnaar by comparison sounds a little tentative at times.  Nocturnal.  Anyway, I certainly look forward to listening to more of this.

Offline milk

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Re: Shostakovich's Preludes and Fugues
« Reply #227 on: September 28, 2022, 12:07:39 AM »
I'm not familiar with Minnaar's other recordings but, listening quickly to a few selected tracks (7-10,13,14) via Spotify -

There is a general lightness of touch, in Fugue No.7 the gossamer-like textures are most beautifully rendered.
There is rubato, almost Chopin-esque.  Prelude No.8 is anything but metronomic.  I prefer a more severe approach in this piece myself.
In the slow Fugues (No.8, No.10) he shows a tendency to not hang about.  No sense of trying to wring the last ounce of 'feeling' from the music.
In the central, pivotal, introspective Fugue No.13 again he seems to underplay his hand - most enjoyable, but not entirely satisfying.
Prelude 14 - not my favourite piece with its hammered ostinato that often descends into banging - this is the best I've ever heard it played, the characteristic light touch pays dividends here and there is much more colourful chromaticism than I usually hear in this music.

That's as far as I got.  Overall - especially with the rubato - I was reminded of Nikolayeva's final recording (without actually making any detailed comparison you understand) - though she has more of a magisterial touch, Minnaar by comparison sounds a little tentative at times.  Nocturnal.  Anyway, I certainly look forward to listening to more of this.
Thanks for your thoughts on this.

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Shostakovich's Preludes and Fugues
« Reply #228 on: September 28, 2022, 06:18:12 AM »
Listening some more, it's not so much that his touch is light - but it's unusually even - he plays with very little dynamic. The overall effect is of reserve, an unwillingness to commit. A bit stiff upper lip, which as a Brit I quite like of course.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2022, 06:20:21 AM by aukhawk »

Offline milk

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Re: Shostakovich's Preludes and Fugues
« Reply #229 on: September 30, 2022, 01:22:38 AM »
Listening some more, it's not so much that his touch is light - but it's unusually even - he plays with very little dynamic. The overall effect is of reserve, an unwillingness to commit. A bit stiff upper lip, which as a Brit I quite like of course.
I love this music. However, I’m ignorant and lazy when it comes to understanding romanticism, modernism, and what came after. I come to this work through Bach, in a way, so a lack of dynamics isn’t a minus for me maybe. Though I should form a better appreciation for how composers for piano envisioned dynamics as an aspect of composition. I wonder how this music, especially certain fugues, would sound on the harpsichord.

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Shostakovich's Preludes and Fugues
« Reply #230 on: September 30, 2022, 02:01:02 AM »
Yes that is it - he does sound rather like a Bach pianist trying to channel the harpsichord sound - legato playing and even dynamic.  Not unusual in Bach WTC recordings, but a bit unexpected in Shostakovich.  I haven't heard his Goldbergs (not my favourite music) but they might be really sleep-inducing!

Offline milk

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Re: Shostakovich's Preludes and Fugues
« Reply #231 on: September 30, 2022, 02:41:43 AM »
Yes that is it - he does sound rather like a Bach pianist trying to channel the harpsichord sound - legato playing and even dynamic.  Not unusual in Bach WTC recordings, but a bit unexpected in Shostakovich.  I haven't heard his Goldbergs (not my favourite music) but they might be really sleep-inducing!
I tried to listen a bit but it didn’t catch me. Although I’ve heard a million GB recordings so it might just mean I need to come back to it.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Shostakovich's Preludes and Fugues
« Reply #232 on: September 30, 2022, 03:07:20 AM »
I saw Richter play a couple of these pieces in Alderburgh. It was memorable because of the ambience, darkened room with the pianist playing by candle light. Anyway, there's a new Richter recording from around the time I saw him and it brought the memory flooding back. A friend of mine, a composer who sees himself as modern, loved the Richter because, he used to say, he made them sound like forward looking music.

Here's the recording in case anyone's interested -- turn the lights off, close the curtains, stick a candle in a wine bottle

https://open.spotify.com/album/3XR8yCeLROyEUicVypQYX8
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