Hannah Ely Piano
Shostakovich Prelude and Fugue No. 1 in C major
Shostakovich Prelude and Fugue No. 8 in F-sharp minor
In the first of the Clifton International Festival of Music’s new late night piano series, Hannah Ely explores some of Shostakovich’s 24 preludes and fugues written in Moscow between 1950 and 1951, and premiered by Tatiana Nikolayeva. Shostakovich met Tatiana in 1950 at a music festival in Leipzig celebrating the work of J. S. Bach. The works display a clear nod to this meeting being deeply steeped in the contrapuntal tradition of J. S. Bach yet with all the colour and harmonic ingenuity of post-war Russia. This beautifully balanced programme takes us through moments of great humour (in the F sharp minor), cunning mischievousness (in the A major) and hauntingly beautiful lyricism (in the B flat major) and is sure to delight lovers of Shostakovich’s music and new comers alike.
The preludes and fugues constitute one of the only serious instrumental works that Shostakovich chose to publish in the difficult and restrictive climate that followed the Central Committee’s Decree of 1948; they met with severe criticism at home but the underlying musical brilliance of their conception and writing has lasted the test of time and are now among the most performed works in the piano repertory.
The immensely talented young British pianist, Hannah Ely, makes her debut at the festival this year following recent successes in London and across her native Dorset.
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