One of the most grown-up review sites around

2020
54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

 

Buy through MusicWeb for £6.99 postage paid World-wide. Immediate delivery
You may prefer to pay by Sterling cheque to avoid PayPal. Contactfor details

Purchase button

Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865 - 1936)
The Complete Solo Piano Music 3

Prelude and Fugue in d, Op 62 (1899) [10.58]
Prelude and Fugue in a, Op 101, #1 (1925) [13.50]
Prelude and Fugue in c#, Op 101, #2 (1925) [8.47]
Prelude and Fugue in c, Op 101, #3 (1925) [7.21]
Prelude and Fugue in C, Op 101, #4 (1925) [7.04]
Prelude and Fugue in e (1926) [11.47]
Stephen Coombs (piano)
rec. 27 October 1995
Originally released 1996 on Hyperion CDA 66855
HYPERION HELIOS CDH 55223 [60.15]


With the incredible popularity of Bachís Well Tempered Clavier, every pianist since the middle of the eighteenth century has learned to play it, learned to play by means of it. The temptation to try to imitate the master has for most of them proven to be irresistible. In fact Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt, and Wagner seem to be the only notable exceptions. Mozart, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Rachmaninov, Taneyev, Respighi, Vaughan Williams, and Shostakovich all tried their hand. A few stopped at the writing of Preludes,* writing few if any fugues to follow, and some wrote many more fugues than preludes. One reason why such pieces have not been played frequently is that during the Victorian era they were considered "mere" exercises, to be sharply distinguished from those "inspired" compositions where God entered the composing process and dictated the music, compositions where the composerís immortal soul could shine forth unencumbered by pedantic artifice and fussy intellectualism. Iím not making this up, you know.

But, pedantic artifice and fussy intellectualism or no, I have always been fascinated by these Bach imitations, not slightly because they are in many cases rather good music, or at the very least fascinating in the insight they give as to how Bach appeared to later generations.

Since one hears very little of Glazunovís piano music, it is surprising that it is so good, receiving here the benefit of exceptionally beautiful performances and recordings. The Op. 62 is a substantial work, perhaps the most accessible of the set. You can download the score from www.sheetmusicarchive.net. The remaining works require listening through a few times to reveal their wonders. The preludes feature extensive runs and arpeggiation. The fugue subjects feature stepwise harmonies which lead to much parallel and contrary motion chromatic passage-work during the working out, so the overall shape of the music is much like that of Rachmaninov. Quoting Shostakovich, the notes say Glazunov was a committed contrapuntalist in developing his orchestral textures. But he was not really a fugue writer like Tchaikovsky or Taneyev, but more a creator of well woven sonic tapestries like Schubert or Rachmaninov. Glazunovís fugues contain much broken counterpoint, little canon, and rely a lot on transitions and episodes.

*Before you put Chopin entirely in this category you should hear his Prelude and Fugue in a minor played on the harpsichord.

Paul Shoemaker

Other volumes in the Glazunov complete solo piano music series on Helios:
Volume 1 CDH 55221, Piano Sonata #1, etc.
Volume 2 CDH 55222, Theme and Variations, Op 72, etc.
Volume 4 CDH 55224, Piano Sonata #2, etc.

 


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews



all Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass


Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022


Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32


Orchestral Works


String Quartets Vol 1

 

 


Return to Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.