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Shostakovich: Complete Preludes & Fugues (Alexander Melnikov) [2 CDs plus DVD] [Box set, CD+DVD]

Alexander Melnikov Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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"Melnikovs playing has wonderful colour and imagination ... His pianissimi are astonishing, with long, meticulously nuanced passages often remaining very, very quiet, while, in the sculpted fugues, the intensification of volume runs to a purposeful plan ... Everything is testament to reflection and skill, yet the pianist is not lecturing, but laughing, dreaming, lamenting ... Read more in Amazon's Alexander Melnikov Store

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Product details

  • Conductor: N/a
  • Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich
  • Audio CD (26 April 2010)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Box set, CD+DVD
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi Classique
  • ASIN: B00354XVKO
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,912 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description


Alexander Melnikov claims, both in his booklet notes and in the short film by Christian Leblé that forms the DVD portion of this three-disc set, that Shostakovich s 24 Preludes and Fugues have been so closely associated with the classic interpretation of their first exponent, Tatiana Nikolayeva, that other players have been deterred from re-imagining them in different terms. I suspect that Roger Woodward, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Keith Jarrett, Olli Mustonen, Jenny Lin, among those who have recorded complete cycles, might want to demur. But Melnikov unquestionably gives an impression of freshness and daring, as if he s discovering the music for the first time. His tempos tend to be on the fast side, his range of touch from the massive to the feathery light, and every movement is incisively, vividly characterised. None more so than No. 15, whose Prelude Melnikov sees as full of mockery, [relying] on the street music of (largely criminal) post-revolutionary Russia and the near-dodecaphonic fugue whose contrapuntal technique reminds us of the Second Viennese School . He is surely right that the contrast between the fifteenth Fugue and desolate, neo-baroque then quasi-oriental No. 16 is one of the cardinal mysteries of the cycle. The withdrawn and mystical atmosphere that he creates in Prelude 22 is the obverse to the magnificently granite-like ending to the culminating Fugue 24. Melnikov argues powerfully in his words and his playing that this is a cycle, not a work to be thumbed-through for extracts. Yet it emerges in his account as much less monolithic than usual: Shostakovich uses the severe discipline of the fugue and the miniature forms of the Prelude to create a kaleidoscopic range of musical characters. Certainly one s bound to feel, listening to such superb playing, that this is indeed one of the greatest contrapuntal cycles since Bach. Overall, then, a magnificent achievement. Calum MacDonald --http://www.classical-music.com/review/shostakovich-24-preludes

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect 10 Oct 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
It is rare to come across what sounds like the perfect performance. I have loved these works since I first heard them many years ago. However until now no one complete performance has ever done them justice. For many ears the field was dominated by Tatiana Nikolayeva to whom the works were originally dedicated. Hearing Melnikov shows just how dry and limited her performances were. Ashkenazy provided an alternative some years ago but these surpass those too. There are too many delights to detail. These are wonderful discs. Enjoy.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like No One Else's Op. 87 Recording 4 Sep 2010
Format:Audio CD
This is my seventh set of the Op. 87 Preludes and Fugues by Shostakovich -- Tatiana Nikolayevna, Keith Jarrett, Jenny Lin, David Jalbert, Konstantin Scherbakov, Vladimir Ashkenazy and now this one -- and although all of them are marvelous in their own way, this traversal seems to be altogether at a higher level of poetry and expressiveness. His playing is brilliantly etched without being shrill or feverish. His dynamic range is enormous; his pianissimo playing in particular is the kind that makes you lean forward in your seat to catch every nuance. I'd never heard of Alexander Melnikov before until a friend sent me this set. But I can guarantee that I'll be looking for anything else he records. I, like one of of the earlier reviewers, would love to hear his take on Shostakovich's piano concertos as well as the Op. 34 Preludes.

Strongly recommended.

Scott Morrison
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Classic 3 July 2010
Format:Audio CD
These marvelous, enigmatic works have been looking for a modern champion on record for some time now, and in this recording they have found one. Melnikov gets under the skin of this work, and is able to encompass the multifaceted moods of the piece, at times sarcastic, ethereal, solemn, all the shades of light and dark are here in a performance that to my mind is truly special. Fabulous.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent playing of a magnificent work 29 Jun 2011
Format:Audio CD
This magnificent work is given a magnificent performance by Alexander Melnikov. Every shade of emotion is delivered in each prelude and each fugue. The colour that Melnikov achieves is outstanding and his insight into the heart of these works is amazing. And at the same time he does not forget the extraordinary mind behind the achievement of this whole exercise by Shostakovich. The whole experience of listening to this unique work is extraordinary.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unmatched depth and sensitivity 15 Jan 2011
Format:Audio CD
If you think you know these works well, then the genius of Melnikov's interpretation is to surprise you utterly. Outside live performance, it's been a long time since I've heard a musician get under the skin of piece in the way Melnikov does here: one can almost see the composer at the piano. For example, the sense of anticipation which follows the opening bars of Fugue 14 is quite something. Brilliant and highly rewarding.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning 48! 16 Aug 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The sheer musicality, flexibility and subtlety of this performance put it right at the top of the list for recordings of Shostakovich's Preludes and Fugues. Melnikov characterises each pair with enormous sensitivity and just the right expressive nuance, placing them within the whole so that you get a cumulative vision of what the composer was daring - Melnikov argues that these works are among Shostakovich's most experimental. The DVD side, in which the pianist is interviewed by another leading keyboard player, Andreas Staier, is fascinating and illuminating. Marvellous!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
I would echo the positive points made in earlier reviews. The one point I would wish to add is a technical one, and it means a drop of one star. I suppose it could be limited to my particular disc 3 but while the DVD side plays without hitch, the CD side has trouble being recognised by several players I have tried it on. Some recognise it as a CD after several attempts (taking upwards of 5 minute to get a successful result). Given that the first 13 preludes and fugues would have fitted easily on the first CD and the rest on the second, it seems just plain daft that Harmonia Mundi allocated 1 - 12 to CD1, 13 - 23 to CD2 and the final prelude and fugue to the CD side of the third disc. In the end I decided to rip the lot and burn them to 2 CDs (1 - 13 and 14 - 24). However, I had no luck reading the CD side of disc 3 on my main (external) CD burner. Fortunately the somewhat slow and clunky internal optical disc drive in a laptop came up trumps. Now I don't have to wait ages to hear the final prelude and fugue. :-)

As I say, it may be a problem restricted to my particular pressing of disc 3, but I doubt it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling Shostakovich
This is one the most exciting releases in recent years of Shostakovich's piano music, brilliantly played and very well recorded. Melnikov's playing is masterly. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Ali Tigrel
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece to the power of masterpiece
This is beautiful. The fusion of performance and composition is nothing short of masterpiece to the power of masterpiece. It is a CD to live with. Read more
Published on 30 Jan 2012 by Ged
4.0 out of 5 stars Shostakovich: Complete Prelides & Fugues. Alexander Melnikov
This is an excellent recording of Shostakovich: Complete Preludes & Fugues, BUT - all the track information appearing on my Windows Media Player are in Japanese characters. Read more
Published on 7 Nov 2011 by bennetwood
4.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening performance
There are passages with which Melnokov connects with so perfectly that it seems he has really understood the core of this prelude & fugue cycle. Read more
Published on 28 July 2011 by maximus
4.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous music making, but infuriating technical problems
Quite marvellous music-making, here. I wouldn't say that the classic Nikolayeva set is superceded, but this is definitely a different and altogether valid take on this protean... Read more
Published on 5 May 2011 by J. S. Bower
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Recording Ever
It's too bad Shostakovitch isn't alive to hear this young man's interpretation of his Preludes and Fugues. His mastery of the music is outstanding. Read more
Published on 27 Aug 2010 by Leon B. Albert
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