„I am forever coming across composers who know Mahler and Bruckner only by listening to them, and have never read a score or even glanced at the notes“.
In contrast Dmitri Schostakovich, who is on record saying these words to Solomon Volkow, came back to the works of Anton Bruckner time and time again, studied them thoroughly and performed piano versions of his symphonies in a private context. The two composers shared not only a mastery of large-scale symphonic forms but also a return to Classical and Baroque contrapuntal techniques. In his 24 Preludes and Fugues, composed for the pianist Tatjana Nikolajewa, winner of the 1st International Bach Competition Leipzig in 1950, Shostakovich engaged intensively with Johann Sebastian Bach's Wohltemperiertem Klavier, which more than a century earlier, between 1843 and 1845, the young Bruckner had „ravenously devoured“ during his studies with Leopold von Zenetti.
The Russian pianist star Alexander Melnikov, one of the outstanding contemporary interpreters of the cycle, takes on this monumental contrapuntal cosmos.
Dmitri Schostakowitsch (1906–1975)
24 Preludes and Fugues for Piano Solo, op. 87 (1950–51)
Alexander Melnikov | Piano