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Shostakovich: 24 Preludes; Alkan: 25 Preludes / Mustonen

Release Date: 01/30/2009 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 433055   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Dmitri ShostakovichCharles Valentin Alkan
Performer:  Olli Mustonen
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 16 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Available again through Arkivmusic.com's valuable on-demand reissue program, this indispensable 1991 release imaginatively pairs Shoatakovich's Op. 24 Preludes with Alkan's lesser-known yet equally quirky Op. 31 Preludes. Most importantly, Olli Mustonen uses his extraordinary technical aplomb, boundless palette of articulations, and highly refined dynamic gradations both to serve the text and to plumb each composer's sound world.

In the Shostakovich, for example, note the pianist's minutely calibrated and tonally varied rapid staccato lines that seemingly take on the character of orchestral instruments in Nos. 2, 5, 9, and 11, and in the "demented ballet" images Nos. 15 and 21 evoke. Yet Mustonen also fully projects
Read more the music's darker, brooding underside: I'm still reeling from the shattering force and infallible timing of No. 14's central climax.

Likewise, pinpoint refinement and bristling character consistently infuse vitality and meaning into Alkan's Preludes. Mustonen's exquisitely-crafted ornaments and rhythmic elongations generate unexpected tension throughout No. 2, while the timbral contrasts between melody and accompaniment in Nos. 3, 8, and 13 often suggest a pair of instruments in tandem. Quick repeated chords (such as those in Nos. 17 and elsewhere) boast a uniformity and hair-trigger precision that must be heard to be believed. While the overly bright sonics create a piercing effect at loudest moments, that's a minor reservation in light of Mustonen's revelatory excellence. I'd go so far as to say that Mustonen has not made a finer solo disc to date.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 34 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Olli Mustonen (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932-1933; USSR 
Date of Recording: 10/1990 
Venue:  Blackheath Concert Hall, London 
Length: 29 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Preludes (25) for Piano, Op. 31 by Charles Valentin Alkan
Performer:  Olli Mustonen (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847; France 
Date of Recording: 10/1990 
Venue:  Blackheath Concert Hall, London 
Length: 47 Minutes 0 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Twenty-Four Preludes, Op.34: No.1 in C major - Moderato
Twenty-Four Preludes, Op.34: No.2 in A minor - Allegretto
Twenty-Four Preludes, Op.34: No.3 in G major - Andante
Twenty-Four Preludes, Op.34: No.4 in E minor - Moderato
Twenty-Four Preludes, Op.34: No.5 in D major - Allegro vivace
Twenty-Four Preludes, Op.34: No.6 in B minor - Allegretto
Twenty-Four Preludes, Op.34: No.7 in A major - Andante
Twenty-Four Preludes, Op.34: No.8 in F sharp minor - Allegretto
Twenty-Four Preludes, Op.34: No.9 in E major - Presto
Twenty-Four Preludes, Op.34: No.10 in C sharp minor - Moderato non troppo
Twenty-Four Preludes, Op.34: No.11 in B major - Allegretto
Twenty-Four Preludes, Op.34: No.12 in G sharp minor - Allegro non troppo
Twenty-Four Preludes, Op.34: No.13 in F sharp major - Moderato
Twenty-Four Preludes, Op.34: No.14 in E flat minor - Adagio
Twenty-Four Preludes, Op.34: No.15 in D flat major - Allegretto
Twenty-Four Preludes, Op.34: No.16 in B flat minor - Andantino
Twenty-Four Preludes, Op.34: No.17 in A flat major - Largo
Twenty-Four Preludes, Op.34: No.18 in F minor - Allegretto
Twenty-Four Preludes, Op.34: No.19 in E flat major - Andantino
Twenty-Four Preludes, Op.34: No.20 in C minor - Allegretto furioso
Twenty-Four Preludes, Op.34: No.21 in F flat major - Allegretto poco moderato
Twenty-Four Preludes, Op.34: No.22 in G minor - Adagio
Twenty-Four Preludes, Op.34: No.23 in F major - Moderato
Twenty-Four Preludes, Op.34: No.24 in D minor - Allegretto
25 Preludes, Op.31 - 1st Suite: No.1 in C
25 Preludes, Op.31 - 1st Suite: No.2 in F minor
25 Preludes, Op.31 - 1st Suite: No.3 in D flat major - Dans le genre ancien
25 Preludes, Op.31 - 1st Suite: No.4 in F sharp minor - Prière du soir
25 Preludes, Op.31 - 1st Suite: No.5 in D major - Psaume 150
25 Preludes, Op.31 - 1st Suite: No.6 in G minor - Ancienne mélodie de la synagogue
25 Preludes, Op.31 - 1st Suite: No.7 in E flat
25 Preludes, Op.31 - 1st Suite: No.8 in A flat minor - La chansonne de la folle
25 Preludes, Op.31 - 1st Suite: No.9 in E major - Placiditas
25 Preludes, Op.31 - 2nd Suite: No.10 in A minor - Dans le style fugué
25 Preludes, Op.31 - 2nd Suite: No.11 in F - Un petit rien
25 Preludes, Op.31 - 2nd Suite: No.12 in B flat minor - Le temps qui n'est plus
25 Preludes, Op.31 - 2nd Suite: No.13 in G flat - J'etais endormie, mais mon coeur...
25 Preludes, Op.31 - 2nd Suite: No.14 in B minor
25 Preludes, Op.31 - 2nd Suite: No.15 in G major
25 Preludes, Op.31 - 2nd Suite: No.16 in C minor
25 Preludes, Op.31 - 2nd Suite: No.17 in A flat major - Rêve d'amour
25 Preludes, Op.31 - 3rd Suite: No.18 in C sharp minor
25 Preludes, Op.31 - 3rd Suite: No.19 in A - Prière du matin
25 Preludes, Op.31 - 3rd Suite: No.20 in D minor
25 Preludes, Op.31 - 3rd Suite: No.21 in B flat major
25 Preludes, Op.31 - 3rd Suite: No.22 in E flat minor - Anniversaire
25 Preludes, Op.31 - 3rd Suite: No.23 in B major
25 Preludes, Op.31 - 3rd Suite: No.24 in E minor - Etude de vélocité
25 Preludes, Op.31 - 3rd Suite: No.25 in C - Prière

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