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Skriabin and Shostakovich Preludes for Piano



Dmitri Shostakovich is among the most famous of 20th century composers. Primary emphasis tends to be placed on his masterful cycles of symphonies and string quartets, but he also wrote outstanding solo piano music as well. Shostakovich's piano masterpiece is the twenty-four Preludes and Fugues of Opus 87, although even here there are never more than a few sets available at any point in time. His other major piano works consist of two piano sonatas and the twenty-four Preludes of Opus 34. I consider Shostakovich's solo piano compostions greatly under-valued, a state that I can only hope will be rectified in future years.

Skriabin and Shostakovich Preludes for Piano


"Marta Deyanova has been recording many years for Nimbus. From the recordings I have heard, she has a natural flair for the music of her native land. Let's commence with Shostakovich's 24 Preludes...prevalent features include a brash demeanor, biting sarcasm, mercurial mood swings, and a playful streak; Shostakovich can be quite tender, but that can change in an instant. All of this gives the pianist a wide array of themes from which to choose, resulting in great differences among them in their conception of the music.  Deyanova's contours are sharp, rhythmic patterns, interesting and diverse, the youthful element and brash humour is fully on display, and the buoyancy is exponentially great.

Deyanova's coupling of Alexander Scriabin's Op. 11 Preludes is a fantastic programming decision and seals the fate of this disc as one of the favourite recordings in my music library. Scriabin's sound world is quite different from Shostakovich's, and Deyanova has no problem making the switch. Scriabin's Preludes are highly erotic, perfumed, and gorgeous. Deyanova fully conveys these features with sublime sensuality and tension-laden utterances. Another wonderful aspect of Deyanova's recording is the soundstage that is both stark and rich, allowing the total measure of detail and eroticism to shine...the Nimbus sound is perfect for the occasion.

Deyanova's disc is one of the jewels in my music library with a Shostakovich at his most brash and impetuous, a Scriabin who intoxicates his victims, and an outstanding soundstage of definition and richness. This is a must-have release."  Dan Satz,

"Deyanova has a huge technique that allows her to toss off Skriabin's big-chord style and Shostakovich's fleet passage-work with equal facility."  Fanfare