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Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes

Vladimir Ashkenazy

Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes

...a revelatory performance
UNI009 (Decca)
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Track Time Listen
1
Prelude in C sharp minor, Op.3, No.2

Prelude in C sharp minor, Op.3, No.2

Composer

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov

Band Vladimir Ashkenazy
04:40 Play
2
Prelude in F sharp minor, Op.23, No.1

Prelude in F sharp minor, Op.23, No.1

Composer

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov

Band Vladimir Ashkenazy
04:21 Play
3
Prelude in B flat, Op.23, No.2

Prelude in B flat, Op.23, No.2

Composer

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov

Band Vladimir Ashkenazy
03:29 Play
4
Prelude in D minor, Op.23, No.3

Prelude in D minor, Op.23, No.3

Composer

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov

Band Vladimir Ashkenazy
04:08 Play
5
Prelude in D, Op.23, No.4

Prelude in D, Op.23, No.4

Composer

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov

Band Vladimir Ashkenazy
05:36 Play
6
Prelude in G minor, Op.23, No.5

Prelude in G minor, Op.23, No.5

Composer

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov

Band Vladimir Ashkenazy
03:56 Play
7
Prelude in E flat, Op.23, No.6

Prelude in E flat, Op.23, No.6

Composer

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov

Band Vladimir Ashkenazy
03:00 Play
8
Prelude in C minor, Op.23, No.7

Prelude in C minor, Op.23, No.7

Composer

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov

Band Vladimir Ashkenazy
02:27 Play
9
Prelude in A flat, Op.23, No.8

Prelude in A flat, Op.23, No.8

Composer

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov

Band Vladimir Ashkenazy
03:14 Play
10
Prelude in E flat minor, Op.23, No.9

Prelude in E flat minor, Op.23, No.9

Composer

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov

Band Vladimir Ashkenazy
01:52 Play
11
Prelude in G flat, Op.23, No.10

Prelude in G flat, Op.23, No.10

Composer

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov

Band Vladimir Ashkenazy
03:58 Play
12
Prelude in C, Op.32, No.1

Prelude in C, Op.32, No.1

Composer

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov

Band Vladimir Ashkenazy
01:21 Play
13
Prelude in B flat minor, Op.32, No.2

Prelude in B flat minor, Op.32, No.2

Composer

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov

Band Vladimir Ashkenazy
02:55 Play
14
Prelude in E, Op.32, No.3

Prelude in E, Op.32, No.3

Composer

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov

Band Vladimir Ashkenazy
02:18 Play
15
Prelude in E minor, Op.32, No.4

Prelude in E minor, Op.32, No.4

Composer

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov

Band Vladimir Ashkenazy
05:12 Play
16
Prelude in G, Op.32, No.5

Prelude in G, Op.32, No.5

Composer

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov

Band Vladimir Ashkenazy
03:19 Play
17
Prelude in F minor, Op.32, No.6

Prelude in F minor, Op.32, No.6

Composer

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov

Band Vladimir Ashkenazy
01:25 Play
18
Prelude in F, Op.32, No.7

Prelude in F, Op.32, No.7

Composer

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov

Band Vladimir Ashkenazy
02:13 Play
19
Prelude in A minor, Op.32, No.8

Prelude in A minor, Op.32, No.8

Composer

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov

Band Vladimir Ashkenazy
01:47 Play
20
Prelude in A, Op.32, No.9

Prelude in A, Op.32, No.9

Composer

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov

Band Vladimir Ashkenazy
02:55 Play
21
Prelude in B minor, Op.32, No.10

Prelude in B minor, Op.32, No.10

Composer

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov

Band Vladimir Ashkenazy
06:01 Play
22
Prelude in B major, Op.32, No.11

Prelude in B major, Op.32, No.11

Composer

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov

Band Vladimir Ashkenazy
02:08 Play
23
Prelude in G sharp minor, Op.32, No.12

Prelude in G sharp minor, Op.32, No.12

Composer

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov

Band Vladimir Ashkenazy
02:29 Play
24
Prelude in D flat major, Op.32, No.13

Prelude in D flat major, Op.32, No.13

Composer

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov

Band Vladimir Ashkenazy
05:53 Play
Total Running Time 81 minutes
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'Ashkenazy's account of Rachmaninov's preludes has much competition these days, but it's still a rewarding performance.  There's an exciting depth to Ashkenazy's tone, the layering of colours is beautifully managed and the atmosphere expertly combines poetry and logic.' 4 stars BBC Music Magazine

This album is licensed for download from Decca where you can buy the CD.

Download includes - cover art

Vladimir Ashkenazy has built an extraordinary career as one of the most renowned and revered pianists of our times.  The Russian piano tradition is in his blood and few solo piano works demonstrate that more clearly than Rachmaninov's Preludes, which showcase the combination of technical ability and passionate commitment which has made Ashkenazy's recordings of the concertos such an enormous popular success. 

This recording of Rachmaninov's 24 preludes was made in 1974-75 and, over thirty years later, remains among the best of Ashkenazy's performances.  Remastered at 96kHz in 24-bit digital stereo from the original analogue mastertapes. 

'Perhaps what strikes home most of all is the sheer aristocracy of his playing ... everything is beautifully moulded and proportioned, beautifully balanced and blended. The sonority he draws from the instrument is poetry itself, as for instance the liquid stream of Op.23 nos.8 & 9. His effortlessly strong, brilliant technique is of course an enormous asset in bolder challenges like Op.23 no.2 ... at all times his phrasing suggests acute susceptibility, yet sentiment never degenerates into sentimentality and nothing would have pleased Rachmanimnov more than that. The C sharp minor Prelude is so often murdered that it is a revelation to hear it done with such a fine blend of the imperious and the mysterious; it emerges here as a little masterpiece.' Gramophone Magazine

Extract from the sleeve notes by Max Harrison

Marked "Tempo di minuetto", the D minor prelude provides a further almost extravagant contrast, being a sort of travesty of an innocent old dance form, duly pointed with knowing sophistication by the pianist. In the G minor prelude, no.5, Rachmaninov makes
an especially personal use of the sort of keyboard texture Chopin devised for his A major Polonaise, op.40, but note also the deft counterpoint, perceptively handled by Ashkenazy, in what may at first seem to be the purely lyrical character of the central episode. Indeed, there is much adroit organisation of inner voices in many of the preludes, Rachmaninov being a more polyphonic writer than he is usually given credit for. Ashkenazy's heightened awareness of this aspect of the music lies at the heart of his interpretations of this composer, as can be heard in his readings of the preludes in D minor, D major and A flat major, which is almost like an operatic duet.

Recording information: 

Recording Location: All Saints Church, Petersham, England January 1974 - April 1975
Producer: James Walker
Recording engineers: Kenneth Wilkinson, John Dunkerley

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