This selection received a Grammy nomination for "Best Classical Album" and "Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without Orchestra)." The comparative simplicity of Chopin's Op. 28 Preludes (when placed against his Etudes, for example) and their status as "miniatures" often hide the fact that they are, in fact, extremely demanding pieces, especially in interpretation. These works, probably written in homage to Johann Sebastian Bach's 'Well-Tempered Clavier,' have been the eminent domain of such great pianists as Artur Rubinstein, Vladimir Horowitz and Claudio Arrau. The Preludes now belong to young Evgeny Kissin.
"After Debussy and Schumann, Nelson Goerner comes back to the composer who revealed him to the great audience of recorded music: Chopin. His first Chopin recordings won him high praise and countless distinctions (3 Diapasons d’Or!): ‘Everything he touches seems 'right’ wrote Gramophone in a recent issue. Nicknamed ‘the great poet of the piano’, he now attacks Chopin’s 24 Préludes, which he chose to record live, in a single go, in Poland where he is particularly appreciated and considered an essential pillar of the Chopin Institute. As a complement, Nelson Goerner opts for the Barcarolle Op. 60, the Polonaise Op. 44 and the Berceuse op.57.
The composer, pianist and teacher Eduard Aslanovich Abramian was one of the most significant and respected figures in the development of modern Armenian music. Drawing on features of Armenian folklore, Abramian’s impressive 24 Preludes do not follow a highly structured tonal scheme but one which appears to be spontaneous, key following key principally to satisfy the need for dramatic contrast of mood and colour…
Grigory Sokolov: a living legend of the piano whose public performances and recordings are as rare as the man is secretive. He stepped away from the limelight years ago, refusing to be idolised by a society avid for imagery. Under the winged fingers of the giant you hear the vibrancy of an inner song, wordless but not illegible. June 7 1990: concert and recording of Chopins Preludes by Grigory Sokolov, still relatively unknown in France.
Firma Melodiya presents a recording of Dmitri Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues performed by Tatiana Nikolayeva. Shostakovich came up with an idea of a polyphonic cycle in 1950 after he took part in the events dedicated to the 200th anniversary of J.S. Bach’s death in Leipzig. As a jury member of the International Piano Competition for the best performance of Bach’s music, Shostakovich was a witness of an unconditional triumph of the young Soviet pianist Tatiana Nikolayeva who won the first prize. Upon finishing the new opus in a surprisingly short period of time (October 1950 to February 1951), Shostakovich dedicated it to Nikolayeva who performed it for the first time in 1952 in Leningrad. Since then the 24 Preludes and Fugues have been played by many pianists, but Tatiana Nikolayeva’s interpretation is still considered a model one. Tatiana Nikolayeva made this recording of Dmitri Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues in 1987.