℗ 2016 SOMM Recordings
 

Rachmaninov: The Complete Préludes: Op. 23 & 32

Leon McCawley

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Morceaux de fantaisie, Op. 3  
1
No. 2. Prélude in C Sharp Minor
Sergei Rachmaninoff; Leon McCawley
4:01
10 Préludes, Op. 23  
2
No. 1 in F Sharp Minor
Sergei Rachmaninoff; Leon McCawley
3:14
3
No. 2 in B Flat Major
Sergei Rachmaninoff; Leon McCawley
3:34
4
No. 3 in D Minor
Sergei Rachmaninoff; Leon McCawley
4:00
5
No. 4 in D Major
Sergei Rachmaninoff; Leon McCawley
4:52
6
No. 5 in G Minor
Sergei Rachmaninoff; Leon McCawley
3:52
7
No. 6 in E Flat Major
Sergei Rachmaninoff; Leon McCawley
2:54
8
No. 7 in C Minor
Sergei Rachmaninoff; Leon McCawley
2:38
9
No. 8 in A Flat Major
Sergei Rachmaninoff; Leon McCawley
3:18
10
No. 9 in E Flat Minor
Sergei Rachmaninoff; Leon McCawley
1:59
11
No. 10 in G Flat Major
Sergei Rachmaninoff; Leon McCawley
3:44
13 Préludes, Op. 32  
12
No. 1 in C Major
Sergei Rachmaninoff; Leon McCawley
1:17
13
No. 2 in B Flat Minor
Sergei Rachmaninoff; Leon McCawley
3:14
14
No. 3 in E Major
Sergei Rachmaninoff; Leon McCawley
2:23
15
No. 4 in E Minor
Sergei Rachmaninoff; Leon McCawley
5:24
16
No. 5 in G Major
Sergei Rachmaninoff; Leon McCawley
3:17
17
No. 6 in F Minor
Sergei Rachmaninoff; Leon McCawley
1:24
18
No. 7 in F Major
Sergei Rachmaninoff; Leon McCawley
2:21
19
No. 8 in A Minor
Sergei Rachmaninoff; Leon McCawley
1:47
20
No. 9 in A Major
Sergei Rachmaninoff; Leon McCawley
3:03
21
No. 10 in B Minor
Sergei Rachmaninoff; Leon McCawley
5:30
22
No. 11 in B Major
Sergei Rachmaninoff; Leon McCawley
2:06
23
No. 12 in G Sharp Minor
Sergei Rachmaninoff; Leon McCawley
2:31
24
No. 13 in D Flat Major
Sergei Rachmaninoff; Leon McCawley
5:09
Digital Booklet
Total Playing Time    77:32
"Leaving frantic and over-pressured playing to others, (McCawley) finds a delicate emotional fervour with no lack of drama in Rachmaninov’s 24 Préludes, aligning himself with other celebrated performances on disc ... sound is entirely equal to the occasion ... this is distinguished issue."
- Gramophone

"... McCawley’s polyphonic clarity is exemplary (heard almost immediately in the famous Prélude in C Sharp Minor) ... McCawley is a classy musician and a distinguished pianist ... this, in some senses, is how Mozart might have played Rachmaninov and he, let’s not forget, was the greatest pianist of his day."
- BBC Music Magazine

English pianist Leon McCawley performs Rachmaninov's complete Préludes, representing all 24 major and minor keys and considered among the composer's best works for solo piano. The success of his first Prélude proved to be double-edged: it became so popular that it travelled around the world and was even adapted as a jazz version in New York City. The Préludes can be played individually or as separate sets but hearing them in sequence on this album brings to light a rarely perceived but always present aspect of the great pianist and composer.

"Rachmaninov is a pianist composer that is very close to my heart and features regularly in my recitals and concerto performances. Not only am I drawn to his music but also his great pianism (thanks to the recordings we have available), the beautiful transparency of his playing that displays so much polyphonic clarity and wondrous depth of tone with never a hint of cloying sentimentality. His simplicity and subtle rubato is a lesson in how to play the piano with sophistication and artistry and how to build musical climaxes so effectively. The 24 Préludes are a wonderfully contrasting set of works: miniatures that are unmistakably full of Russian pathos and passion. The Russian bells are always ringing and singing."- Leon McCawley
96 kHz / 24-bit PCM – SOMM Recordings Studio Masters

Recorded at Champs Hill, Pulborough, West Sussex on May 7 and 8, 2014
Recording producer: Siva Oke
Recording engineer: Ben Connellan
Piano: Steinway Concert Grand Model ‘D’
Front cover photograph of Leon McCawley by Anna Paik
Design and layout: Andrew Giles

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