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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another outstanding recording by Scherbakov, 15 Sep 2009
By 
Scriabinmahler (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shostakovich: 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87 (Audio CD)
Having been very impressed by his Scriabin and Rachmaninov's solo piano music recordings, I bought this 2 CD set immediately after the release. I'd always admired Nikolaeva's famous Melodiya recording of Shostakovich's 24 Preludes and Fugues, but I've found Schebakov surpasses her in some of the fast preludes and in many of the slow Fugues in which his reading shows more depth and subtlety. No need to spend so much money on Ashkenazy's correctly played yet rather inspirationless DECCA recording.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This set of the Preludes and fugues is a great bargain, 30 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Shostakovich: 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87 (Audio CD)
There does not seem to be a totally ideal version of the Preludes and Fugues on CD. But, at the price, this set is a great bargain. Sherbakov is particularly good in the slower more ponderous pieces, but I was also thrilled by his dynamic playing at the close of No. 24. At the other end of the cycle, the very opening of No.1 is also very memorable. The Naxos recording quality is very fine. I have also heard Nikolaieva's Hyperion set of the Preludes and fugues but this set more than holds it own in comparison.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was not exactly a lover of Shostakovich..., 25 May 2010
This review is from: Shostakovich: 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87 (Audio CD)
But these cds made me change my mind. It was an acquaintance of mine who recommended them to me, telling me that this music was completely different from what one might expect from the Russian composer, and I have to say he was totally right: intimate, subtle, intense, rich and complex, these piano pieces are something one listens to again and again... describing music is not easy, I'm not a musician nor a musicologist, but these might be the Goldberg Variations of the 20th century.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just great!, 18 April 2003
This review is from: Shostakovich: 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87 (Audio CD)
Sometimes you get disappointed when buying Naxos, despite the low price. Sometimes the Naxos price level makes you buy music you would not have bought otherwise, music that "should" be in your CD collection. And from time to time - more and more common to my experience - there is a recording that is just great, compared to anything else. This recording belongs to the third category.
I have heard Jarrett's recording of some of these pieces, more than once as well. Although Jarrett is extraordinary talented, there is something lacking in his recording of this cycle, something Scherbakov is able to bring out of his grand piano. I have not heard Ashkenazy's or Nikolayeva's recordings though, but I know they usually gets good reviews. If they are even better than this Scherbakov recording, they must be... just great as well!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding bargain, 12 Aug 2011
This review is from: Shostakovich: 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87 (Audio CD)
This CD is one of the best-kept secrets of the catalogue, with all of Tatiana Nikolayeva's fame in Shostakovich Preludes and Fugues. Yet it is Scherbakov's cycle that I find the most satisfying and deeply probing. His technique is better equipped than Nikolayeva's to handle the more athletic passages - witness the scurrying passagework of the 2nd Prelude for example - and he doesn't lack weight and a cumulative effect either.

There are other pianists I prefer in some individual pieces - Jarrett brings lots of things to the table, and so does Nikolayeva of course - but this cycle is the most consistently satisfying of the lot. If I only had to have one recording of the Preludes and Fugues, this would be it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dmitry at his most relaxed and personal, 11 Jun 2012
By 
John Ferngrove (Hants UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shostakovich: 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87 (Audio CD)
I have formed a fond intimacy with this work over twenty years thanks to the highly esteemed Hyperion 1990 Tatiana Nikolayeva recordings, Shostakovich: Preludes & Fugues. This work is an example of what I call 'Thursday Afternoon music', by which I mean music that demands no occasion, and that reveals the poignant luminosity within the quotidian and humdrum. This stands unique in the Shostakovich works of which I am aware in being the music of a civilised man writing his best for other civilised persons, without the slightest breath of political or social commentary making its presence felt. No crack of doom or turn of fate as with the large symphonies; no ambiguous agendas, cryptic or otherwise; no biting satire, keening despair or grinning death's head. This is perhaps a glimpse of the kind of music Shostakovich might have written had he lived in less savage circumstances.

For all my affection however, now I have this version by Scherbakov, I cannot imagine the circumstances under which I would again reach for the Nikolayeva. First and foremost, I will no longer have to grit my teeth in anticipation of the too numerous occasions on which Tatania comes to the end of a piece and lifts her foot from the peddle while the note is still ringing, with a just audible creak. A little thing, but not very attractive. Also, the sound and the instrument; Tatania's sounds like an old that's been abandoned in a disused station on the track to Vladivostok, one hears the dust settling between movements. Admittedly this invests it with a sort of gritty charm and subdued heroism that is part of the recording's mythological aura. The Scherbakov however sounds like it was recorded on a piano made of pure sunlight; it glitters and shines. In overall mood the Scherbakov seems to me more well rounded and more fully involved with life. Along with the many deeply absorbing and contemplative sections there are now parts that suggest starry nights, butterflies over summer meadows, the laughter of children and the scampering of small animals. There is a distinct 'post-soviet' playfulness and innocence that one would be hard pressed to discern in Nokolayeva. Finally, there is the architecture; the manner in which Shostakovich bound his forty-eight little gems into a profound and arch, dignified rather than triumphal. To achieve this he constructed a language of intricate thematic paraphrase; what is subject here turns up as accompaniment or fugal inversion there, fragments from across the work emerge out of the moving texture to be submerged again, only to reappear in different guise further down rthe line. Tatania has no shortage of grandeur, and if I'm honest, if I have one reservation it's that I am not convinced that Scherbakov gets the dynamic build up of the so important final fugue quite right. Perhaps it will become more coherent with further listening? On the other hand, Tatania can meander, and one occasionally has to pinch oneself to remember that one is trying to get somewhere. With Scherbakov however, the momentum never fully dissipates, and one is in doubt at any point about where one has set out from, and that one is definitely headed somewhere.

This is an absolute gem of a disc that reveals the good and decent heart of one of the 20th Century's greatest composers. Generally, Naxos do very well for a budget label, but they don't always get it right. In this case however, they're absolutely spot on. This must be destined to become a best seller for them.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing recording, 8 Feb 2010
By 
Bottacin Paolo (Padova, Italy) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shostakovich: 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87 (Audio CD)
I bought this CD set after listening to Jarrett's recording of the preludes and fugues, and after traying to play myself some of the preludes, because I liked really much the music and wanted to hear a different interpretation of it. I liked Jarrett's, but was curious and as the CD didn't cost much, I tried.
This recording is really amazing and it strikes me particularly in three aspects: the dynamic range of the music, much wider then in jarrett's interpretation, particularly on the pianissimo side; the precision of the execution of the fastest passages; the richness of touch, arriving in some cases to let you think you're listening to something different than a piano (as an exaple of this, listening to the fifth prelude, the one with fast arpeggiato chords, sometimes it seems to be listening to an acoustic guitar, for the precision, equality and quickness of the arpeggios).
But of course the thing that strikes me more is the beauty and variety of the music: for people loving the piano these preludes and fugues are a treasure, and more so because they are modern but completely rooted in the tradition.
Strongly recommended!
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Shostakovich: 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87
Shostakovich: 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87 by Dmitry Shostakovich (Audio CD - 1999)
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