Hyperion Records

Preludes, Op 32
composer
August/September 1910; No 6: 25/8; No 8: 24/8; No 10: 6/9; No 12: 23/8

Recordings
'Sergio Fiorentino – The Early Recordings, Vol. 5 – Rachmaninov' (APR5585)
Sergio Fiorentino – The Early Recordings, Vol. 5 – Rachmaninov
APR5585  Download only  
'Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes' (CDA30015)
Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes
Buy by post £8.50 CDA30015  Hyperion 30th Anniversary series  
'Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes' (CDA67700)
Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67700 
'Rachmaninov: Preludes Op 32' (CDA66082)
Rachmaninov: Preludes Op 32
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66082  Archive Service  
'Rachmaninov: The Complete Solo Piano Music' (CDS44041/8)
Rachmaninov: The Complete Solo Piano Music
CDS44041/8  Boxed set (at a special price) — Download only  
'Rachmaninov: Demidenko plays Rachmaninov' (CDH55239)
Rachmaninov: Demidenko plays Rachmaninov
Buy by post £5.50 CDH55239  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'Rachmaninov: Piano Music' (SIGCD230)
Rachmaninov: Piano Music
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'Eileen Joyce – The complete Parlophone & Columbia solo recordings' (APR7502)
Eileen Joyce – The complete Parlophone & Columbia solo recordings
APR7502  Download only  
'Simon Barere – His celebrated live recordings at Carnegie Hall, Vol. 2 – 9 March 1947' (APR5622)
Simon Barere – His celebrated live recordings at Carnegie Hall, Vol. 2 – 9 March 1947
APR5622  Download only  
Details
No 01 in C major: Allegro vivace
Track 12 on CDA30015 [1'06] Hyperion 30th Anniversary series
Track 12 on CDA67700 [1'06]
Track 1 on CDA66082 [1'18] Archive Service
Track 1 on CDS44041/8 CD4 [1'18] Boxed set (at a special price) — Download only
Track 12 on APR5585 [1'11] Download only
No 02 in B flat minor: Allegretto
Track 13 on CDA30015 [2'55] Hyperion 30th Anniversary series
Track 13 on CDA67700 [2'55]
Track 2 on CDA66082 [2'57] Archive Service
Track 2 on CDS44041/8 CD4 [2'57] Boxed set (at a special price) — Download only
Track 13 on APR5585 [2'47] Download only
No 03 in E major: Allegro vivace
Track 14 on CDA30015 [2'20] Hyperion 30th Anniversary series
Track 14 on CDA67700 [2'20]
Track 3 on CDA66082 [2'31] Archive Service
Track 3 on CDS44041/8 CD4 [2'31] Boxed set (at a special price) — Download only
Track 14 on APR5585 [2'14] Download only
No 04 in E minor: Allegro con brio
Track 15 on CDA30015 [5'10] Hyperion 30th Anniversary series
Track 15 on CDA67700 [5'10]
Track 4 on CDA66082 [5'55] Archive Service
Track 4 on CDS44041/8 CD4 [5'55] Boxed set (at a special price) — Download only
Track 15 on APR5585 [4'56] Download only
No 05 in G major: Moderato
Track 16 on CDA30015 [2'55] Hyperion 30th Anniversary series
Track 16 on CDA67700 [2'55]
Track 5 on CDA66082 [3'04] Archive Service
Track 5 on CDS44041/8 CD4 [3'04] Boxed set (at a special price) — Download only
Track 16 on APR5585 [2'24] Download only
No 06 in F minor: Allegro appassionato
Track 17 on CDA30015 [1'22] Hyperion 30th Anniversary series
Track 17 on CDA67700 [1'22]
Track 6 on CDA66082 [1'26] Archive Service
Track 6 on CDS44041/8 CD4 [1'26] Boxed set (at a special price) — Download only
Track 13 on CDH55239 [1'18] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Track 8 on SIGCD230 [1'41] Download only
Track 17 on APR5585 [1'14] Download only
No 07 in F major: Moderato
Track 18 on CDA30015 [2'08] Hyperion 30th Anniversary series
Track 18 on CDA67700 [2'08]
Track 7 on CDA66082 [2'54] Archive Service
Track 7 on CDS44041/8 CD4 [2'54] Boxed set (at a special price) — Download only
Track 18 on APR5585 [2'11] Download only
No 08 in A minor: Vivo
Track 19 on CDA30015 [1'38] Hyperion 30th Anniversary series
Track 19 on CDA67700 [1'38]
Track 8 on CDA66082 [1'49] Archive Service
Track 8 on CDS44041/8 CD4 [1'49] Boxed set (at a special price) — Download only
Track 14 on CDH55239 [1'37] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Track 19 on APR5585 [1'29] Download only
Track 5 on APR7502 CD4 [1'39] Download only
No 09 in A major: Allegro moderato
Track 20 on CDA30015 [2'56] Hyperion 30th Anniversary series
Track 20 on CDA67700 [2'56]
Track 9 on CDA66082 [3'06] Archive Service
Track 9 on CDS44041/8 CD4 [3'06] Boxed set (at a special price) — Download only
Track 20 on APR5585 [2'17] Download only
No 10 in B minor: Lento
Track 21 on CDA30015 [5'49] Hyperion 30th Anniversary series
Track 21 on CDA67700 [5'49]
Track 10 on CDA66082 [6'06] Archive Service
Track 10 on CDS44041/8 CD4 [6'06] Boxed set (at a special price) — Download only
Track 15 on CDH55239 [6'40] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Track 9 on SIGCD230 [6'08] Download only
Track 21 on APR5585 [6'11] Download only
No 11 in B major: Allegretto
Track 22 on CDA30015 [1'59] Hyperion 30th Anniversary series
Track 22 on CDA67700 [1'59]
Track 11 on CDA66082 [2'35] Archive Service
Track 11 on CDS44041/8 CD4 [2'35] Boxed set (at a special price) — Download only
Track 22 on APR5585 [2'32] Download only
No 12 in G sharp minor: Allegro
Track 23 on CDA30015 [2'19] Hyperion 30th Anniversary series
Track 23 on CDA67700 [2'19]
Track 12 on CDA66082 [2'37] Archive Service
Track 12 on CDS44041/8 CD4 [2'37] Boxed set (at a special price) — Download only
Track 16 on CDH55239 [2'28] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Track 10 on SIGCD230 [2'55] Download only
Track 9 on APR5622 [2'30] Download only
Track 23 on APR5585 [1'49] Download only
No 13 in D flat major: Grave
Track 24 on CDA30015 [4'48] Hyperion 30th Anniversary series
Track 24 on CDA67700 [4'48]
Track 13 on CDA66082 [5'18] Archive Service
Track 13 on CDS44041/8 CD4 [5'18] Boxed set (at a special price) — Download only
Track 24 on APR5585 [5'23] Download only
Track 6 on APR7502 CD4 [4'29] Download only

Preludes, Op 32
EnglishFranηaisDeutsch
Unlike Chopin, Scriabin and even Shostakovich, Rachmaninov does not order his preludes systematically by keys. In fact it is not even clear precisely when he determined that he would complete a cycle of twenty-four, though he had evidently decided on that path when he came to compose the thirteen Preludes of his Op 32 in 1910. This was directly after his Piano Concerto No 3 (as before, there is a certain amount of overlap with the pianistic idiom of that work). Yet there are enough informal tonal relationships between consecutive Preludes—especially in the Op 32 collection, where eight of the preludes are paired by opposite modes—and enough variety in the succession of tempi and moods, to make performance of each set, or even of all twenty-four Preludes, as a unit a realistic option for any pianist intrepid enough to take it.

The C major finger-loosener often placed at the outset of such a cycle now appears as a launch-pad for the Op 32 Preludes. This one is not as ferociously sky-rocketing as its counterpart in Liszt’s Transcendentals, but it certainly issues a challenge, not least by proposing rising motifs as a counter-balance to Rachmaninov’s habitual dying falls. A neoclassical archetype not yet explored is the swaying siciliano rhythm, which now becomes the guiding thread through the B flat minor Prelude, No 2, a piece built on two waves of acceleration, neither of which succeeds in shaking off a fundamental melancholy or in avoiding a conclusion in a mood of stoical resignation.

The Allegro vivace E major Prelude does break free, however, in another neo-Bachian aerobic workout, almost like an updated solo version of a Brandenburg Concerto. There is even, perhaps, the ghost of gigue behind its shadowy successor, the E minor Prelude No 4, whose contrasting sigh figures are eventually given their due in a languorous central section. With the rocking motion and ecstatic, flowering melody of the G major No 5 we gain the first glimpse in the Op 32 set of consoling lyricism. At the opposite extreme, the turbulent F minor is full of wrathful passion. The nearest Rachmaninov comes to cheery playfulness in any of his Preludes is the almost genial F major, No 7. Pre-figuring the Étude-tableau from Op 39 in the same key, the A minor Prelude No 8 is implacably driven, as if with the wind at its back and the rain swirling round it. A further switch to the opposite mode for No 9 brings another luxuriant tapestry woven from the thread of a sighing motif. Then come two more siciliano-based pieces, the slow B minor Prelude, No 10, with its pulverizing contrasting section, and the faster, more restrained B major Prelude.

The G sharp minor Prelude, No 12, is the last favourite encore piece in the set, its harp-like figurations running like water down the window-panes of a Russian dacha. Finally the D flat major Prelude once again closes a frame, this time harking right back to the infamous C sharp minor of Op 3; it also has a certain summative quality, thanks to its inclusion of siciliano rhythms, sighing motifs, étude figurations, an accelerating middle section and a ringing chordal apotheosis. As if to trademark his piano idiom, Rachmaninov here concludes with a piece that demands a formidable hand-stretch, of the kind he almost uniquely possessed.

from notes by David Fanning © 2009

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDS44041/8 disc 4 track 11
No 11 in B major: Allegretto
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-83-08211
Duration
2'35
Recording date
20 April 1983
Recording venue
St George the Martyr, Queen Square, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Andrew Keener
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Rachmaninov: Preludes Op 32 (CDA66082)
    Disc 1 Track 11
    Release date: June 1988
    Deletion date: January 2010
    Archive Service
  2. Rachmaninov: The Complete Solo Piano Music (CDS44041/8)
    Disc 4 Track 11
    Release date: March 1993
    Deletion date: February 2014
    Boxed set (at a special price) — Download only
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