Shostakovich: 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87 / Donohoe

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Celebrated international pianist Peter Donohoe begins a new series of Shostakovich releases on Signum Classics with this new recording of Shostakovich's 24 Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87. All 24 of the preludes and fugues were composed within several months, after Shostakovich was inspired by the performance of Tatiana Nicolayeva, whom he heard as a jurist for the Leipzig Bach Competition in 1951. Although doubtlessly inspired by J.S. Bach's own 48 Preludes and Fugues in his use of form and counterpoint, Shostakovich's compositions are all deeply original and rooted in his own enigmatic and ambiguous style, moving from charming simplicity to dazzling virtuosity.


Time and time again you hear, in this reading, passages that sound like pure Shostakovich bumping up against the numerous Bach homages, and being made to sound right at home there. Sample the “Prelude and Fugue in F minor,” neither deeply melancholy nor neutral, and quite moving in Donohoe’s hands. The massive D minor prelude and fugue at the end has plenty of power, but is kept within the sober confines of Donohoe’s overall interpretation. The intimate atmosphere created by Signum’s engineers is another draw, and overall this is a worthwhile entry in the crowded field of recordings of these works.

-- AllMusic Guide (James Manheim)

Among other things about Peter Donohoe’s Opus 87, I do like the sense of shape he gives to the whole, with a real sense of arrival at the final magnificent Prelude and Fugue No. 24 in that most Bachian key of B minor, and some remarkable experiences along the way beforehand. The intensity of that tremolando for instance in Prelude No, 14 pushes all the buttons, and with impeccable musicality and a fine ear for all of Shostakovich’s moods Donohoe never puts a foot wrong—and indeed, tasteful pedalling also deserves a mention. Hesitate not. This is a recording of Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues you’ll want to keep close and guard well.

-- MusicWeb International

Product Description:

  • Release Date: April 21, 2017

  • Catalog Number: SIGCD396

  • UPC: 635212039625

  • Label: Signum Classics

  • Number of Discs: 2

  • Period: 20th Century

  • Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich

  • Performer: Peter Donohoe


  1. 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87

    Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich

    Performer: Peter Donohoe (Piano)