There's much more to Shostakovich's 24 Preludes and Fugues than meets the eye. Perhaps they make a deceptively arid impression upon casual sight-reading, yet pianists who commit themselves eventually discover far more variety of expression between pieces and consequently give cogent shape to the composer's subtle textural interplay.
David Jalbert is both into and on top of these works, both stylistically and pianistically. I especially appreciate how he enlivens simpler pieces without overstating the case. For example, the E major Prelude stands out for Jalbert's finely honed legato touch and superb timbral integration of registral extremes. In his freely lyrical approach to the D major Prelude, Jalbert's phrasingRead more distinctively characterizes the left-hand lines and right-hand arpeggiated chords.
Also notice the pianist's asymmetric, harmonically aware accentuation of the B-flat major Prelude's rapid "flight of the bumble-bee" figurations and his ability to suggest the slower, more severe fugues' bleak sensibility without sounding lugubrious or bland. At the same time, Jalbert's secure technique enables him to wring maximum musical satisfaction from the thornier selections, such as his dashing, playful account of the D-flat major Fugue's quirky cross-rhythms.
Although I find Scherbakov's Naxos edition more pinpointed in detail from a sonic and interpretive perspective, Jalbert's innate musicality and intelligent virtuosity are never in doubt. In all, this is a release well worth your attention.
Preludes and Fugues (24) for Piano, Op. 87by Dmitri Shostakovich
David Jalbert (Piano)
Period: 20th Century Written: 1950-51
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Deeply movingJuly 25, 2013By T. Thurston (Oakland, CA)See All My Reviews"I can't compare this to other recordings of the Preludes and Fugues. For anyone who considers Shostakovich a pivotal figure in 20th century music, a recording of this work is a must have. Jalbert's treatment is sensitive and deeply moving. I'm very pleased with it."Report Abuse