8.30.2010

Praeludium Tremens!

Yes! The Prelude Set bug has struck again. Can't stop. Don't want to stop. So tasty.
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First on my computer-side pile is Opus 17 by Felix Blumenfeld. He was a recent and almost accidental discovery. Apparently he lived well into the establishment of Bolshevic Sovietness (1931), but composed most everything before. He looks Imperial Russianly Romantic, Chopinish, like early Scriabin. Besides that he is a blank slate to me. All I've got is a name, some preludes, and his picture above. (I think Robert Downey Jr. could play him in a movie. Not sure that movie would be interesting, but that's ok.)
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Ok, the next one's Fifty Preludes by Moscheles. This is a pre-Chopin compilation and printed out for the historical comparison. All of them are short and brilliant. And unfortunately the scan quality is quite poor. (I think Mel Brooks could pull him off.)
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Cesar Cui has often been identified famously as the least famous of Russia's "Mighty Handfull". :( That's a bummer of a title, but at least, of all the "Five", he tried his hand at Preludes. Stylistically they are some thirty years behind the times, composed in 1904 and sounding like Stephen Heller. What I really like however is the order he uses: C-e-G-b-D...a-C; twenty-five preludes in all. It's interesting to hear the minor before the relative major. I look forward to it. (The only guy I can think of for him is Michael Card... He must by warm in the winter.)
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Reinhold Glière. All I really know about him is his cool first name. He's Russian despite the schnazzy accent grave. He was something of a classic before the revolution and his conservative style earned him a solid popular reputation and tons of awards. However his preludes came in 1907. Much like Cui's I'd say. I'm listening to the D Major right now; a little jazz at the beginning and now it's gone Scriabin on me. I am tantalized by these Russian composer's love of the prelude cycle! He chose to take the WTC/Bach order, with a final C Major at the end to round it out. (He just looks like Uncle Charlie.)
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Palmgren! I like these because they have descriptive names; Kansan tapaan (In folk style), Sarabande, Kehtolaulu (Cradle Song), Unikuva (Dream Pictures). He's not the most popular of guys and most people joke that it was fortunate for him that Sibelius wasn't a great piano composer. They are in no order that I can see: e-A-E-c#-G-g-D-b... (?) (This guy IS Adam Baldwin from Chuck.)

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