Dmitri KABALEVSKY (1904-1987)
24 Preludes, Op.38 (1943) [49:30]
Sonatina in C major, Op.13 No.1 (1930) [7:24]
Piano Sonata No.3, Op.46 (1945) [14:43]
Murray McLachlan (piano)
rec. 19-20 December 1991, Holmbury St. Mary Church Hall
Originally released on Olympia
ALTO ALC 1084 [71:39]
The music of Kabalevsky has been as much a victim of musical condemnation because of the composer’s politics as that of Alan Bush. His symphonies - try the Eiji Oue set on CPO (review)- are solid constructs. The Violin Concerto can be heard on Regis RRC1310 where the soloist is Andrew Hardy (review). Marina Tarasova pays the two cello ciocnetos on Regis RRC 1116 (review). His Piano Concertos (on Regis and Chandos) are totally enjoyable. Hsin-Ni Liu (piano) plays the Third on Naxos 8.557794 (review); not to forget Kathryn Stott on Chandos (review) with piano concertos 2 and 3.
His solo piano music is just as satisfying and Murray McLachlan proves a doughty advocate with a grand feel for the romantic Russian idiom - grotesquerie, fantasy and rugged bell patterns. No one could claim that Kabalevsky kept au fait with fashion so his writing can often seem reactionary. It is less angular than the further reaches of Prokofiev and perhaps has more in common with the more celebratory Bax or Rachmaninov in his grandest of grand manners. His Preludes have been recorded before but few of the existing versions sound as good as this - sample the Fifth Prelude (D major). The Sonatina is in three movements exploring youthful delights, lilting melody and whirlwind races. The end-of-War Third Piano Sonata is in much the same idiom as the Sonatina but with greater determination and more depth.
To complement the present collection try Regis RRC on RRC1324 where the sonatas are played by Arthur Pizzarro (review)..
Alternative versions of the 24 Preludes are available from Dossin on Naxos, Deluze on Pavane and Flier on APR.
The extensive liner-note is by Murray McLachlan.
McLachlan knows his Russian repertoire and his recordings show this in full.
Rob Barnett 

McLachlan knows his Russian repertoire and his recordings show this in full.
1 - Prelude No.1 in C Major, Andantino
2 - Prelude No.2 in a minor, Scherzando
3 - Prelude No.3 in G Major, Vivace leggiero
4 - Prelude No.4 in e minor, Andantino
5 - Prelude No.5 in D Major, Andante sostenuto
6 - Prelude No.6 in b minor, Allegro molto
7 - Prelude No.7 in A Major, Moderato e tranquillo
8 - Prelude No.8 in f-sharp minor, Andante non troppo
9 - Prelude No.9 in E Major, Allegretto scherzando
10 - Prelude No.10 in c-sharp minor, Non troppo allegro ma agitato
11 - Prelude No.11 in B Major, Vivace scherzando
12 - Prelude No.12 in g-sharp minor, Adagio
13 - Prelude No.13 in fisharp minor, Allegro non troppo
14 - Prelude No.14 in E-flat minor, Prestissimo possibile
15 - Prelude No.15 in D-flat Major, Allegro marcato
16 - Prelude No.16 in B-flat minor, Allegro tenebroso
17 - Prelude No.17 in A-flat Major, Andante tranquillo
18 - Prelude No.18 in f minor, Largamente con gravita
19 - Prelude No.19 in E-flat Major, Allegretto
20 - Prelude No.20 in c minor, Andantino semplice
21 - Prelude No.21 in B flat Major, Festivamente non troppo allegro
22 - Prelude No.22 in g minor, Scherzando non troppo allegro
23 - Prelude No.23 in F Major, Andante sostenuto
24 - Prelude No.24 in d minor, Allegro feroce
25-27 Sonatina in C major op. 13 no. 1 (1930)
28-30 Sonata in A minor op. 46 (1945)