Amongst the pieces in Rachmaninoff’s 24 Préludes there are three that are particularly popular. These are now all available as single editions: Having already published two “warhorses”, the Préludes in c sharp minor (HN 1211) and g minor (HN 1212), the one we are now issuing, the Prélude in g sharp minor, strikes a quieter and more melancholy note. For our new editions of the Préludes we were able to consult the autograph sources in the Glinka Archive in Moscow, enabling us to present these single editions in superb quality. The fingerings are by Marc-André Hamelin, one of the most outstanding pianists of our time and also an expert on late romantic Russian piano music.
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The Prélude in gk minor op. 32 no. 12 presented here – along with its fellow works in ck minor and g minor – can rightfully claim its rank among the most popular and frequently played préludes of Sergei V. Rachmaninoff (1873 – 1943). This is due, in part, to its elegiac melody and shimmering octave accompaniment in the descant. The composer regularly placed the … more
About the composer
Composer and pianist who continued and expanded the late-Romantic tradition; he prepared the way for Prokofiev and Shostakovich. His oeuvre comprises orchestral works, piano pieces, choral works, several operas, and numerous songs.
|1873||Born in Semyonovo on April 1. From 1880 receives professional instruction in music.|
|1885–92||Studies music at the Moscow Conservatory.|
|1890–92||Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp minor, Op. 1, with the diminished fourth in the main theme typical of his style.|
|1892||Successful performance of his one-act opera “Aleko” (a graduation work). Prelude in C-sharp minor for piano.|
|1897||Unsuccessful premiere of the Symphony No. 1, Op. 13 (with abrupt contrasts). First experiences as an opera conductor at Moscow’s Mamontov Theater. He becomes acquainted with Fyodor Shalyapin, later his friend.|
|1900/01||Composition of the Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18, in a modified style (broad melodic arcs, transparent compositional style).|
|1904–06||Appointed conductor at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.|
|1906||Premieres of the operas “The Miserly Knight,” Op. 24, and “Francesca da Rimini,” Op. 25.|
|1907||Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27, with whimsical figuration in the woodwinds; Piano Sonata No. 1 in D minor, Op. 28.|
|1909||Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30; symphonic poem “The Isle of the Dead,” Op. 29|
|from 1910||More complex compositional technique (enhanced polyphony, ambiguous harmonies, fast rhythmic alterations) in Thirteen Preludes for piano, Op. 32; “Études-tableaux,” Op. 33 (1911); Fourteen Songs, Op. 34 (1910–16).|
|1917||Rachmaninoff leaves Russia and lives in Stockholm, Copenhagen, the United States (career as pianist), and Switzerland.|
|1926/41||Piano Concerto No. 4 in G minor, Op. 40. In 1935/36, Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 44.|
|from 1939||He emigrates permanently to the United States.|
|1943||Death in Beverly Hills on March 28.|
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