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Étude No 12 in A flat minor 'Prelude and Fugue'
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The Prelude and Fugue, the final étude in the collection, was actually my first sizeable compositional effort. At the time of writing, I did not have a complete set of études in mind; moreover, the fugue was written first, and it was only natural that I should later preface it, in accordance with a long-established precedent. Retrospectively, it seems to me that the fugue in particular has a lot in common with the tarantella-like movement of Busoni’s Piano Concerto, which I was learning at the time. The work was never meant to become such a monstrous agglomeration of cruel virtuosic devices; I simply wanted to explore some of the possibilities of the rather silly fugue subject. Once started, the piece started going pretty much on its own, in directions I hadn’t anticipated.

I experienced a rather uneasy moment when, some time after completing the piece, I came across Sergei Taneyev’s Prelude and Fugue in G sharp minor, Op 29. I was alarmed to see that there were some startling similarities between the two fugues: same metre, same key (enharmonically), same pianistic terrains, and a very similar fugue subject. Please be assured that if this were other than mere coincidence, I would be honest enough to admit it!

from notes by Marc-André Hamelin © 2010

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Details for CDA67050 track 17
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-98-05017
Duration
6'11
Recording date
26 January 1998
Recording venue
Abbey Road Studios, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Andrew Keener
Recording engineer
Simon Rhodes
Hyperion usage
  1. The Composer-Pianists (CDA67050)
    Disc 1 Track 17
    Release date: June 1998
    Deletion date: February 2013
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