The 24 preludes for piano

Thursday 27 August 2009, by FQ, Laurent (Vnouk) // Discography

  • Interpreter : Jascha Nemtsov
  • Composers : Shostakovich, Zaderatsky
  • Editor : Profil
  • Date : may 2009
  • Recording in Rundfunk Berlin-Brandebourg’s studios
  • Distinctions : 4 stars Classica (France) - september 2009 - "Redaction’s choice" Pianoforum magazine (Moscow) - N°1, 2010
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Jascha Nemtsov is offering in this CD the 24 preludes of DS and the 24 preludes of Vsevolod Petrovitch Zaderatsky. This recording of the 24 preludes of Zaderatsky is a world premiere. You are going to listen here preludes n°5 and 19 of Vsevolod Zaderatsky.

Prelude N°5 in D major

The interpreter

The Russian pianist and musicologist Jascha Nemtsov was born in Magadan in 1963. He attended the college of music (Special Music School) at the Leningrad Conservatory and was awarded a gold medal in the final exams. He then continued his musical education at the piano department of the Leningrad Conservatory and graduated with distinction in 1986. In 1992 Jascha Nemtsov moved to Germany.

„Jascha Nemtsov presents himself as a worthy descendant of

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Liszt and his pupils” , so the German magazine "Fono Forum" in November of 2008 on the occasion of Nemtsov’s new released CD with works by Franz Liszt. Apart from performing the classical and romantic piano repertoire he dedicated several concert programmes to works by Jewish composers persecuted and murdered by the Nazis. Other special areas are Jewish art music and Russian music of the 20th century, particularly works by Dmitri Shostakovich.

By now he has recorded 25 CDs, featuring numerous world premiere recordings. They include solo piano works as well as chamber music in which his partners are Tabea Zimmermann (viola), David Geringas (violoncello), Ingolf Turban, Kolja Blacher and Dmitry Sitkovetsky (violin), Chen Halevi (clarinet), and the Vogler Quartet. The CDs have been honoured with various international distinctions like „Audiophile Reference - The Best of 2001“, „Klassik heute Empfehlung“, „CHOC - Le Monde de la Musique“, „Recording of the Month (MusicWeb)“, or „Disc of the Month April 2006“ (BBC Music Magazine). In 2007 his CD with sonatas for violin and piano by Shostakovich and Weinberg (together with the violinist Kolja Blacher) was awarded the German Record Critics Prize.

Jascha Nemtsov has been a member of the School of Jewish Studies at the University of Potsdam since 2002. In 2004 he earned his doctorate with a dissertation on „The New Jewish School in music“. His postdoctoral thesis treats „The Zionism in music: Jewish music and the national idea“ (2007).

The CD

Vsevolod Zaderatsky wrote his preludes in 1934, one year after Dmitri Shostakovich. Jascha Nemtsov notes that at this time, he was lining in in Moscow where he was probably attending the launching concert of the 24 preludes of Dmitri Shostakovich, played by the actual composer. He might have taken inspiration and lead him to start his own work.

This first CD of Zaderatsky works allow at last the public at large to listen to the music of this composer whose works and life have been ignored and banned for years. This CD has a special place in the fight to get recognition. Vsevolod Vsevolodovitch, the composer’s son says so in his book to be published concerning the life of his father, as can be seen in this extract given in the june issue of the “Musical Review” (Moscow) which is presenting the CD:

“As in other Vsevolod Petrovitch works, the 24 piano preludes were unknown to the public, neither during his lifetime nor in the twenty years following his death. They slowly gained recognition on the artistic scene after being published in Kiev in 1970, by the Ukrainian Musical Editions. At the same time, there was a first performance of 12 of the 24 preludes in the Kiev Academy, the pianist being Alla Zaderatskaya. (…) In Kiev, Zaderatsky preludes quickly became a mandatory work in the program for the Academy ‘s teachers. The first complete performance took only place in 2002, in Ukraine, when L’vov Musical Academy ( as a matter of fact , heir of the Conservatoire of Music where the composer taught during the last years of his life) opened his music festival with this work.

In 1980, ten years after the publication of the preludes in Kiev, a book was published : “Piano music in soviet Ukraine”. In it, there is for the first time an analytical description of the 24 preludes of Vsevolod Zaderatsky, and moreover the first serious work on his music. The author, Professor V.L.Klin is seeing this cycle as an element of Ukrainian music, although the preludes clearly show that the composer belongs to the Russian school. It is obvious that Vsevolod Petrovitch is following with true respect the path of Scriabin and Rachmaninov, and you can notice the resonance existing with the preludes of the already “moscovite” Dmitri Shostakovich (…)

The fate of the 24 preludes of Zaderatsky in Russia has been very wayward. In Moscow, the complete cycle was played for the first time in the mid-eighties by the young pianist Alexander Markovich, unknown at that time in the West. But ten more years were necessary before publishers paid attention to this work and for the professionals to recognize its value (…) Alexander Raikhelson (…) played the first complete performance of the cycle showing at last an opening through the darkness covering the composer’s fame. A few months later, Raikhelson played the cycle again during a special concert before the Academic board of Moscow Tchaikovsky’s Conservatory. It is from there, with this true official recognition, that the return to life of Vsevolod Zaderatsky works started. In 2006, the prelude’s cycle was printed by the moscovite publishing house “Deka-BC”.

After this real success, this work has been applaused in Germany and Holland, where Jascha Nemtsov has carried and played it many times over in several towns.”

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