KRZYSZTOF MEYER (b.1943): Piano Works, Vol. 3 - 24 Preludes, Op. 43.
Catalogue Number: 08W052
Description: The piano was Meyer's instrument, and his writing for it always idiomatic and technically and expressively exuberant, as here. His solo output was relatively limited - six very distinguished sonatas and a handful of other works - but there is a concerto, and it is a frequent feature of his large chamber œuvre. This expansive set is a relatively early work, from 1977-78, but by this time he had turned away from the sonoristic avant garde, of which few traces are detectable in these pieces aside from some freedom in metrical matters left up to the performer in a few places, and a very few clusters. The Preludes are played conventionally, on the keyboard, and while not tonal in any strict sense many of them establish firm tonal centers - often at the outset to anchor the piece, and then freely departed from - sufficiently to justify their arrangement in the time-honoured tradition of "24 Preludes in a logical sequence". To give an obvious example, No.1 is clearly in C Major, to set the tone for the whole set, and No.24, (preceded by a hushed, expectant and unresolved piece, which functions as a "prelude" to the final Prelude, the appropriately cumulative and imposing finale of the set) strongly suggests D minor. Indeed, this large grouping of substantial pieces - several of which subdivide into sections almost like internal movements, and some of which in groups of two or three function like a self-contained work and could be programmed that way in recital - is worthy to stand alongside the many post-Chopin sets of pieces of this type. Piano textures are extremely varied, with a fine sense of instrumental sonority, and the harmonic language, while somewhat austere much (not all) of the time, is consistent and lends itself to the approachability and sense of dramatic narrative of the individual preludes as well as a clearly charted feeling of progress through the work as a whole. There are many examples of symmetries, internal forms and structures within the set (as just one example, the second of three pivotal columns of the piece formed of especially large, varied and dramatically eventful preludes, occurs at the golden section of the cycle's duration); these devices, even if not directly perceived as such by the listener, contribute greatly to the sense of architecture and shape of the whole sequence. Marek Szlezer (piano).