28 July 2012

Richter plays Rachmaninov Preludes

In the course of his composing career Sergei Rachmaninov wrote 24 Preludes in three sets: the famous Prelude in C Sharp Minor, Op. 3 No.2, then the ten Preludes Op. 23, written in 1901 and 1903, and finally the thirteen Preludes Op. 32, written in 1910. Together they span all the major and minor keys.

They are longer than the traditional musical fragment which had hitherto been associated with the term Prelude – Chopin’s for example – and tend to be musically complex and technically demanding. They are beautiful pieces, and the great Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter was the master of them.

As a sampler, try these examples from YouTube, all played by Richter:

Prelude in G minor Op. 23 No. 5 (one of the most well-known)

No comments: