Janáček philharmonic OstravaR/Piano recital seriesR4: Shostakovich – Preludes and Fugues

R4: Shostakovich – Preludes and Fugues

Dmitri Shostakovich:
 24 Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87


Alexander Melnikov
 – piano

Johann Sebastian Bach’s work culminated with a period of great polyphonic compositions. All of the musical styles that followed were far from Bach’s. Yet, in retrospect, it is amazing how many authors have (re)discovered, revived and modernized Bach’s counterpoint since his death.
Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier was primarily intended as a demonstration of a new way of tuning that allowed unlimited key modulation.  He came to enjoy working with the contrasting free preludes and strict-form fugues, and he repeated the whole cycle of 24 pairs (from each of the 12 tones of the chromatic scale, one in the major and the other one in the minor key).
A number of later composers paid homage to Bach and repeated this difficult counterpoint task. Shostakovich’s Preludes and Fugues are among the most original such cycles, and they were created when the composer was inspired by the performance given by the young pianist Tatiana Nikolayeva at the Leipzig Bach Festival in 1950.