24 Preludes and Fugues, Op. The complete work takes about shostakovich preludes op 34 pdf and a half hours to play. 13 in F-sharp major is in five voices, but Fugue No. Bach’s cycle appear throughout the work.
On a larger scale, the whole structure, ordered and sequenced as it is with no apparent extra-musical narrative, is largely a response to Bach. C major, C minor, C-sharp major, C-sharp minor etc. There are also several references and musical ideas taken from Shostakovich’s own work. She won the gold medal. Inspired by the competition and impressed by Nikolayeva’s playing, Shostakovich returned to Moscow and started composing his own cycle of 24 preludes and fugues.
Shostakovich worked fairly quickly, taking only three days on average to write each piece. As each was completed he would ask Nikolayeva to come and visit him in his Moscow apartment where he would play her the latest piece. The complete work was written between 10 October 1950 and 25 February 1951. Once finished, Shostakovich dedicated the work to Nikolayeva, who undertook the public premiere in Leningrad on 23 December 1952. Shostakovich wrote out all the pieces without many corrections except the B-flat minor prelude, with which he was dissatisfied and replaced what he had begun initially. In unbroken chords and a haunting melody Shostakovich nevertheless evokes the immortal first Prelude of the 48. The tone is wistful, mostly pianissimo and the harmonic language is very much Shostakovich’s own, though not a note is out of place.
Bach begins with a scaled 4th, Shostakovich has a bleak bare 5th. In contrast to the characteristic harmonic complexity of the prelude, the fugue is written in the purest C major, without a single accidental. It is followed by a three-part fugue with a characteristic theme of sevenths and acciaccaturas. 8 time, although this meter is also shared by the F-sharp Major Prelude. Following the prelude, Shostakovich proceeds directly to the fugue without pause. About two-thirds into the fugue, Shostakovich brings back the original subject in the bass combined with the second subject in the soprano.
The E Minor Fugue is one of progressive complexity. The prelude maintains a suspended feel through repeated, arpeggiated chords in the right hand played to accompany a simple melody first in the left hand, then swapping roles midway. The phrasing is very expressive with sudden ritenutos scattered throughout. The fugue, marked allegretto, contrasts beautifully with the legato feel of the prelude with repeated staccato notes forming the basis of the fugal subject. Three voices develop with contrasting legato passages against the staccato.
To further add to the quaint color of the movement, subito forte and piano are mixed in giving the fugue a frankly chipper tone. Bach in his 48 preludes and fugues. The following fugue starts with a short introduction. Much of the piece uses a counter melody against the fugal entries. Amazingly, the fugue contains no vertical dissonances whatsoever, instead creating harmonic motion by sporadically touching on unrelated keys such as B-flat major, D-flat major, and C major. While there is little in the way of thematic or textural development, it has been said that the simplicity in the piece creates beauty.
This fugue stands out from the rest of the set because it contains no dissonances. A short piece, very agitated in nature. Staccato and chromatics add to the chilling nature of the melody. The prelude is written on three staves where left and right hands take turns playing on the center staff. The piece with few exceptions consists of unison quindicesima melodies beginning first in the lowest tessitura of the piano then the highest. Mixed meters riddle the contour of the simple melodies, and toward the middle, an alto voice of accompanying chords provides diversity to the unisonal melody. 4 time is a frantic scurry with fast notes and staccato markings.
Only two voices develop with increasing stretto in the middle culminating at the end when the two voices join in unison as before in the prelude though only with an octave separation. The prelude starts softly and quite simply, marked by the indication semplice. This piece has a clearly defined homophonic texture, with the right hand dominating the melody. However, soon the left hand takes over the melody and the piece becomes more dramatic.
This leads to a small climax and then fades into a very quiet section in b flat minor. The main melody then returns, accompanied by a sustained trill in the top voice. The piece then concludes with a few more restatements of the theme. The passacaglia motif is counterpointed by one single simple melody. 4 is a rhythmically adventurous and complex composition that works as a culmination of the first part of the entire cycle.
A fugue in five voices. Octave tremolos feature prominently in the prelude. The fugue is free-flowing with remarkably few dissonances, contrasting with the tense prelude. The prelude is a brusque waltz typical of Shostakovich. The opening theme resembles “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”. The vivace fugue is a tour de force of chromatic and atonal writing.
The subject contains 11 of the 12 semitones available. In the prelude, the right hand has an uninterrupted stream of sixteenth notes, set against quarter and eighth notes in the left hand. The fugue is lively, marked “allegro non troppo”. Shostakovich,” or as a composition “for the desk drawer. According to Ross, the composer used chamber forms in the period to channel his most personal compositions, those that would not be suitable for use or approval by the Soviet government.