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Nikolai Lugansky|Rachmaninov : 24 Preludes

Rachmaninov : 24 Preludes

Nikolai Lugansky

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Unfortunately no, dear reader, there is no such thing as a cycle of “24 Preludes” by Rachmaninoff; however there are indeed 24 Preludes: a collection of ten Op. 23 from 1903, 13 other Op. 32 from 1910 and one isolated Prelude from the Morceaux de fantaisie Op. 3 (Fantasy Pieces) from 1893. In total: 24 Preludes, in which as a simple count shows Rachmaninoff − much like Chopin and of course Bach − illustrated all major and minor tones. Deliberately random, or the involuntary drive to create a reasonably coherent cycle? Contrary to his two illustrious predecessors, Rachmaninoff didn’t order his Preludes according to a specific tonal plan: the musician’s fantasy develops bit by bit.

Nikolai Lugansky – described by the famous magazine Gramophone as “the most innovative and transcendent interpreter of all” (so much for the others…), truly an extraordinarily deep and polyvalent pianist – decided to present the Preludes in the order prescribed by partitions, rather than reorganising them according to some hypothetical tonal logic, without knowing if Rachmaninoff would even have recommended or even considered it, particularly as the constant alternation of moods, independently of any tonal consideration, gives the piece a sense of perfect coherence. Finally it’s worth mentioning that Lugansky offers a very “original” interpretation of this divine music, which may feel like a re-discovery to some listeners. © SM/Qobuz

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Rachmaninov : 24 Preludes

Nikolai Lugansky

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Morceaux de Fantaisie, Op. 3 (Serge Rachmaninoff)

1
No. 2. Prelude in C-Sharp Minor
00:04:47

Sergei Rachmaninov, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, MainArtist

harmonia mundi harmonia mundi

10 Préludes, op. 23 (Serge Rachmaninoff)

2
No. 1. Largo in F-Sharp Minor
00:03:40

Sergei Rachmaninov, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, MainArtist

harmonia mundi harmonia mundi

3
No. 2. Maestoso in B-Flat Major
00:03:37

Sergei Rachmaninov, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, MainArtist

harmonia mundi harmonia mundi

4
No. 3. Tempo di minuetto in D Minor
00:03:53

Sergei Rachmaninov, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, MainArtist

harmonia mundi harmonia mundi

5
No. 4. Andante cantabile in D Major
00:04:58

Sergei Rachmaninov, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, MainArtist

harmonia mundi harmonia mundi

6
No. 5. Alla marcia in G Minor
00:04:05

Sergei Rachmaninov, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, MainArtist

harmonia mundi harmonia mundi

7
No. 6. Andante in E-Flat Major
00:03:03

Sergei Rachmaninov, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, MainArtist

harmonia mundi harmonia mundi

8
No. 7. Allegro in C Minor
00:02:29

Sergei Rachmaninov, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, MainArtist

harmonia mundi harmonia mundi

9
No. 8. Allegro vivace in A-Flat Major
00:03:28

Sergei Rachmaninov, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, MainArtist

harmonia mundi harmonia mundi

10
No. 9. Presto in E-Flat Minor
00:01:58

Sergei Rachmaninov, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, MainArtist

harmonia mundi harmonia mundi

11
No. 10. Largo in G-Flat Major
00:04:05

Sergei Rachmaninov, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, MainArtist

harmonia mundi harmonia mundi

13 Préludes, op. 32 (Serge Rachmaninoff)

12
No. 1. Allegro vivace in C Major
00:01:14

Sergei Rachmaninov, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, MainArtist

harmonia mundi harmonia mundi

13
No. 2. Allegretto in B-Flat Minor
00:03:05

Sergei Rachmaninov, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, MainArtist

harmonia mundi harmonia mundi

14
No. 3. Allegro vivace in E Major
00:02:24

Sergei Rachmaninov, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, MainArtist

harmonia mundi harmonia mundi

15
No. 4. Allegro con brio in E Minor
00:05:56

Sergei Rachmaninov, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, MainArtist

harmonia mundi harmonia mundi

16
No. 5. Moderato in G Major
00:03:21

Sergei Rachmaninov, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, MainArtist

harmonia mundi harmonia mundi

17
No. 6. Allegro appassionato in F Minor
00:01:21

Sergei Rachmaninov, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, MainArtist

harmonia mundi harmonia mundi

18
No. 7. Moderato in F Major
00:02:25

Sergei Rachmaninov, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, MainArtist

harmonia mundi harmonia mundi

19
No. 8. Vivo in A Minor
00:01:48

Sergei Rachmaninov, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, MainArtist

harmonia mundi harmonia mundi

20
No. 9. Allegro in A Major
00:03:02

Sergei Rachmaninov, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, MainArtist

harmonia mundi harmonia mundi

21
No. 10. Lento in B Minor
00:06:07

Sergei Rachmaninov, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, MainArtist

harmonia mundi harmonia mundi

22
No. 11. Allegretto in B Major
00:02:33

Sergei Rachmaninov, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, MainArtist

harmonia mundi harmonia mundi

23
No. 12. Allegro in G-Sharp Minor
00:02:35

Sergei Rachmaninov, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, MainArtist

harmonia mundi harmonia mundi

24
No. 13. Grave in D-Flat Major
00:05:59

Sergei Rachmaninov, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, MainArtist

harmonia mundi harmonia mundi

Album review

Unfortunately no, dear reader, there is no such thing as a cycle of “24 Preludes” by Rachmaninoff; however there are indeed 24 Preludes: a collection of ten Op. 23 from 1903, 13 other Op. 32 from 1910 and one isolated Prelude from the Morceaux de fantaisie Op. 3 (Fantasy Pieces) from 1893. In total: 24 Preludes, in which as a simple count shows Rachmaninoff − much like Chopin and of course Bach − illustrated all major and minor tones. Deliberately random, or the involuntary drive to create a reasonably coherent cycle? Contrary to his two illustrious predecessors, Rachmaninoff didn’t order his Preludes according to a specific tonal plan: the musician’s fantasy develops bit by bit.

Nikolai Lugansky – described by the famous magazine Gramophone as “the most innovative and transcendent interpreter of all” (so much for the others…), truly an extraordinarily deep and polyvalent pianist – decided to present the Preludes in the order prescribed by partitions, rather than reorganising them according to some hypothetical tonal logic, without knowing if Rachmaninoff would even have recommended or even considered it, particularly as the constant alternation of moods, independently of any tonal consideration, gives the piece a sense of perfect coherence. Finally it’s worth mentioning that Lugansky offers a very “original” interpretation of this divine music, which may feel like a re-discovery to some listeners. © SM/Qobuz

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