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Dmitri Shostakovich: 24 Preludes And Fugues, Op. 87 Double CD


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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 Sept. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: Celestial Harmonies
  • ASIN: B003ZZ7IAW
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 374,681 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87: No. 1 in C 3:35£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87: No. 2 in A minor 2:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87: No. 3 in G 3:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87: No. 4 in E minor 5:30£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87: No. 5 in D 3:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87: No. 6 in B minor 4:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87: No. 7 in A 3:12£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87: No. 8 in F-Sharp minor 7:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87: No. 9 in E 3:56£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87: No. 10 in C-Sharp minor 6:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87: No. 11 in B 3:30£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87: No. 12 in G-Sharp minor 7:07£0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87: No. 13 in F-Sharp 6:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87: No. 14 in E-Flat minor 5:48£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87: No. 15 in D-Flat 4:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87: No. 16 in B-Flat minor 8:30£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87: No. 17 in A-Flat 5:10£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87: No. 18 in F minor 5:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87: No. 19 in E-Flat 4:01£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87: No. 20 in C minor 7:54£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87: No. 21 in B-Flat 3:45£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87: No. 22 in G minor 5:38£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87: No. 23 in F 5:13£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87: No. 24 in D minor 8:40£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

About the Artist

Currently resident in San Francisco, Roger Woodward performs with the Leipzig Gewandhaus, New York, Los Angeles and Israel Philharmonics, Orchestre de Paris, the Cleveland Orchestra, London orchestras and European Community Gustav Mahler Jugend-orchester, with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Paavo Berglund, Pierre Boulez, Charles Dutoit, Eliahu Inbal, James Judd, Eric Leinsdorf, Lorin Maazel, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Roger Norrington, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Witold Rowicki, Walter Susskind, Georg Tintner, Edo de Waart, and Hans Zender.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tom Poore on 2 Jan. 2015
Format: MP3 Download
The Shostakovitch Preludes and Fugues have long hovered at the edge of my awareness. I’ve wanted to like them, but could never shake the feeling that they were too lightweight to sustain my interest across the more than two hours it takes to hear them all. Sviatoslav Richter’s performances suggest there’s more substance to them, but he only recorded a handful. And in spite of Tatiana Nikolayeva’s high reputation in these works, I could never warm up to her 1987 recording. (I’m told her 1962 recording is better, but it’s not easily available.) So the Op. 87 continued to elude me.

Enter Australian born Roger Woodward, a pianist who until now was unknown to me. As pointed out by others, he dispatches the entire work in two hours and 26 minutes. Compare this to Nikolayeva’s epic 2 hours and 48 minutes in her 1987 recording. But timing alone doesn’t redeem Woodward. (If one is merely looking for a race to the finish line, Keith Jarrett polishes off the same work in a fleet 2 hours and 15 minutes.) A player who sacrifices expressive detail for momentum is no musician. Woodward, happily, is a musician. Never does he sound as though he’s in over his head. His playing is always deft, sensitive, and colorful.

This 1975 recording has gained an unfair reputation for being too brisk. Most of the tempos, however, are either close to or a bit below Shostakovitch’s own tempo markings. Only a few are significantly faster, and they’re never less than musically natural and convincing. In fact, Woodward’s playing here can justifiably be compared to Richter’s, and that’s rarefied company. One listens in vain for a hint of awkwardness or strain—such problems don’t exist for Woodward here. Like Richter, he’s a straight-ahead interpreter who doesn’t indulge in silly “look at me” expressive gimmicks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 Dec. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Outside of Australia it is not so easy as it should be to find the recorded work of Roger Woodward. This two-disc set is all the more welcome for that reason, and on top of that it provides a lengthy essay by the maestro himself, not so much a liner note as a full-blown dissertation. Shostakovich's 24 preludes and fugues follow the same key-sequence that Chopin's 24 preludes do rather than Bach's own simpler scheme. They express a wide range of moods and emotions, but in my own opinion they are best heard as `absolute' music, with Shostakovich once again following the lead of his two great forerunners in that respect as well as in the purely formal matter of the key-selection.

There is no way that Shostakovich's symphonies and string quartets can be thought of as absolute music. They document the mind and soul of a Soviet composer trying to survive the horrors of the second world war and negotiate the minefield of Stalin's reign of terror. The preludes and fugues seem to me to have offered him an escape into a more peaceful inner sanctuary, and if I am reading Woodward correctly he suggests much the same. If this is what our music here is all about then it is how we should understand the interpretations offered. Woodward makes no attempt to import external emotion, still less any pictorial effects, into the self-contained world of the preludes and fugues. I find no sense of inhibition or `restraint' in his playing. What I do find is a self-coherent approach that keeps unity within the variety of 24 separate but spiritually related works. Given that Woodward is not as familiar as he might be, I was searching for some kind of parallel for his style, something that might convey an impression of what someone new to the playing might expect to find.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
With Speed, Woodward Gives Clarity to Shostakovich's Huge Opus for Piano 12 Dec. 2010
By Dmitri - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was only ten years old when Shostakovich died, but in that year of 1975 Roger Woodward committed to LP the massive Preludes and Fugue cycle, opus 87. This is the CD release of that historic issue. It is what my friends have called the fastest cycle of Preludes and Fugues on CD now available. You can tell straight away that Woodward has fast tempi, but don't let that discourage you from buying this CD. In fact I would encourage to buy this set because while he is extremely fast he also has character in his interpretations.

The Shostakovich Preludes and Fugues, opus 87 can be divided into two. The first half in fact have a subdivision of the first three and then the following nine up to no.12. The first three prelude and fugues are Bachian in nature. That is that come very close to imitating Bach's Well Tempered Clavier. The next nine are kind of Bach/Shostakovich synthesis. Then come the final twelve which are more or less fairly original Shostakovich. In fact I don't know anyone who could mistake No.15 for anyone else other than Shostakovich. Woodward is particularly successful in clarifying the last twelve preludes and fugues which I have found some of to this day mysterious (Numbers 13,14,and 16 as examples).

I find this to be an extremely important release in the history of the Prelude and Fugues. There is only two other sets that I would recommend and by recommending them I am not saying that they are superior... just that they are different. Those being Ashkenazy's and Nikolaeva's sets.

So I highly recommend this set of Shostakovich's Prelude and Fugues to anyone and especially to those who need to have the art of these pieces unfold more easily and made lucid.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Comparable to Richter 2 July 2013
By Tom Poore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Shostakovitch Preludes and Fugues have long hovered at the edge of my awareness. I’ve wanted to like them, but could never shake the feeling that they were too lightweight to sustain my interest across the more than two hours it takes to hear them all. Sviatoslav Richter’s performances suggest there’s more substance to them, but he only recorded a handful. And in spite of Tatiana Nikolayeva’s high reputation in these works, I could never warm up to her 1987 recording. (I’m told her 1962 recording is better, but it’s not easily available.) So the Op. 87 continued to elude me.

Enter Australian born Roger Woodward, a pianist who until now was unknown to me. As pointed out by others, he dispatches the entire work in two hours and 26 minutes. Compare this to Nikolayeva’s epic 2 hours and 48 minutes in her 1987 recording. But timing alone doesn’t redeem Woodward. (If one is merely looking for a race to the finish line, Keith Jarrett polishes off the same work in a fleet 2 hours and 15 minutes.) A player who sacrifices expressive detail for momentum is no musician. Woodward, happily, is a musician. Never does he sound as though he’s in over his head. His playing is always deft, sensitive, and colorful.

This 1975 recording has gained an unfair reputation for being too brisk. Most of the tempos, however, are either close to or a bit below Shostakovitch’s own tempo markings. Only a few are significantly faster, and they’re never less than musically natural and convincing. In fact, Woodward’s playing here can justifiably be compared to Richter’s, and that’s rarefied company. One listens in vain for a hint of awkwardness or strain—such problems don’t exist for Woodward here. Like Richter, he’s a straight-ahead interpreter who doesn’t indulge in silly “look at me” expressive gimmicks. That’s not to say he’s dry. (Sample his luminous playing of the A Major fugue.) Rather, he lets the music speak for itself, and his prodigious technique never calls attention to itself at the expense of the music.

Given the quality of Woodward’s playing, I’m surprised he’s not better known. One reason may be that he’s heavily into contemporary music. That’s enough to put off many listeners. And judging from what I’ve read, he has a reputation for being a bit of a pill. Such reputations should be regarded with suspicion, as they’re often unjustified. True or not, it’s of no importance to me. While I might not want Woodward living in my basement, he’ll hold an honored place in my CD collection.

Some may find it annoying that, on these CDs, each prelude and fugue shares a track. Thus, you can’t skip directly to the beginning of a fugue. But it should be noted that Shostakovitch marks “attacca” at the end of each prelude. So one can argue that tracking each prelude and fugue together is faithful to the composer’s intent.

For my taste, Shostakovitch’s Op. 87 is best served when it’s not treated as a musical Mount Everest. A monumental approach bloats this music into something it’s not. Woodward’s lithe playing conjures a minor miracle, recreating the composer’s curiously elusive and enigmatic voice.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
SHINING IN HIS OWN LIGHT 12 Dec. 2013
By DAVID BRYSON - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Outside of Australia it is not so easy as it should be to find the recorded work of Roger Woodward. This two-disc set is all the more welcome for that reason, and on top of that it provides a lengthy essay by the maestro himself, not so much a liner note as a full-blown dissertation. Shostakovich’s 24 preludes and fugues follow the same key-sequence that Chopin’s 24 preludes do rather than Bach’s own simpler scheme. They express a wide range of moods and emotions, but in my own opinion they are best heard as ‘absolute’ music, with Shostakovich once again following the lead of his two great forerunners in that respect as well as in the purely formal matter of the key-selection.

There is no way that Shostakovich’s symphonies and string quartets can be thought of as absolute music. They document the mind and soul of a Soviet composer trying to survive the horrors of the second world war and negotiate the minefield of Stalin’s reign of terror. The preludes and fugues seem to me to have offered him an escape into a more peaceful inner sanctuary, and if I am reading Woodward correctly he suggests much the same. If this is what our music here is all about then it is how we should understand the interpretations offered. Woodward makes no attempt to import external emotion, still less any pictorial effects, into the self-contained world of the preludes and fugues. I find no sense of inhibition or ‘restraint’ in his playing. What I do find is a self-coherent approach that keeps unity within the variety of 24 separate but spiritually related works. Given that Woodward is not as familiar as he might be, I was searching for some kind of parallel for his style, something that might convey an impression of what someone new to the playing might expect to find. Alas what I kept coming up with was even more obscure than what I was trying to illustrate, but as it is from a set of pieces nearly contemporary with Shostakovich’s preludes and fugues, I shall try it out and hope it conveys anything to anyone. The resemblance that I found was in a superbly controlled touch with never a hint of forced or ugly tone, together with a well calculated sense for the best tempi both for the pieces considered individually and in their place in relation to their companions. Does all that sound a bit too ‘correct’? I know that to some eminent critics it definitely does. I also know that comparisons between Shostakovich and Messiaen are not (to put it mildly) something one encounters every day. However, telling it the way I find it, what Woodward’s playing in Shostakovich reminds me of is the ultra-civilised sound of Michel Beroff in Messiaen’s Vingt Regards.

Woodward’s long companion essay deserves the kind of careful reading that liner notes don’t usually call for. Oddly, the bit that you can probably skip is what he calls his ‘rapid tourist guide’ to the separate pieces. It is almost as if he is apologising for this short excursus into the standard realms of programme-notery. As for the rest, it is a deep and thoughtful dissertation on the historical and cultural context of the works themselves and of their creator.

The recorded sound is a touch reticent, and I suggest a little boosting of the volume. Give or take any such minor adjustments to the sound-controls, I find this type of sound highly appropriate to the playing it records. The playing it records is playing of the highest distinction. If you had known of Roger Woodward mainly through the film Shine, about the sad history of mental instability that afflicted his early rival David Helfgott, this is a chance to correct such a perspective while at the same time gaining important insights into important 20th century musical masterpieces that shine a special light on their composer.
Still my favorite 6 April 2014
By SallyS - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
When I first heard this recording, and it was my first hearing of these pieces, I felt that many of the tempi were too fast and missed possible nuances inherent in the music. But, since hearing about 5 other recordings, I come back to this one as the best. It's more than that so many of the other's tempi are slow to the point of lugubrious. Only this recording gives me an actual thrill when I hear it. He has an almost aggressive attack to the preludes and fugues, which just work for me.
6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
This is info about the recordings, not this issue 6 Sept. 2010
By Robert Lombard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I have this set on LPs, from the early 1970s. The recorded sound is excellent. Woodward displays a fine touch on the big Bösendorfer grand, and the audio engineer captured it well; some awesome sounds. This may be the best recording Woodward has ever made. The P&Fs are not great music, but they are interesting, especially taken a half dozen at a time.
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