Critic for “Clásica2”: Dimitry Shostakovich: 24 Preludes and Fugas Op. 87, interpreted by Marisa Blanes

  : press

The Ibs Classical label has just published an excellent album with the 24 Preludes and Fugas Op. 87 by Dimitri Shostakovich, in its integral version, interpreted by the pianist and Doctor of Music from the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Marisa Blanes. 3 discs that we strongly recommend to music lovers.




The careful and well documented booklet that accompanies the 3 albums that make up this album, by the way, one of the features that we always find on the discs of the Ibs Classical label, and as a presentation of the work, we want to highlight here the following notes:

“The tonality abolished or the tonality diluted, such was the dilemma that conditioned the musical creation of the twentieth century. Dimitri Shostakovich bequeathed us a document of high musical and historical value: the 24 preludes and fugues opus 87, written for piano in homage to Johann Sebastian Bach between 1950 and 1951, opting for evolution and not for the crossroads of the rupture. Without renouncing his aesthetic creeds, Shostakovich proposes a speech of singular actuality in which tonality and modality are not produced as antinomies but as agglutinants of a renewed discourse from the paradigms of historical reason to the new hypotheses of a musical language of free expression”. (…)

“Many are the elements that underpin the course of these 24 Preludes and Fugues op.87, some structural, others formal and others of a logical or dynamic nature, each of them being components of a discourse that must be interpreted as a dramatic unit and dialectic coherent in itself and not as a series of pedagogical exercises “(…)

Before such a conceptual statement of the work, and how it should be interpreted, it is evident the difficulty of the company that Marisa Blanes has faced. And I have to say that the result seems extraordinary and, above all, moving.

Following the motivation inspired by the above notes, I decided to make a comprehensive, attentive, and profound listening. A sound trip full of wonderful “landscapes” that follow each other without solution of continuity but, as I am very well told above, they are configuring that dramatic and dialectical unit that, little by little, is shown to us as indisputable. But while this is true, it is clear, too, that it requires an interpretation that is capable of maintaining the unity required. An obligation that translates into a deep knowledge of the work, an extraordinary sensitivity capable of showing the innumerable nuances that Shostakovich proposes to us and, above all, a piano technique that is capable of not causing us to lose concentration for the necessary deep listening and avoiding that we fall into the sensation that we are before the also commented pedagogical exercises unrelated and independent.

Well, after listening to Marisa Blanes, I have to affirm that we are facing a memorable interpretation that opens new paths for the enjoyment of music in general and the music of Shostakovich in particular. To paraphrase Fray Luís de León in his praise of the music of Salinas, and allow himself to change hands by hand, we can say that listening to this album:

The air is serene, and you see beauty and unused light, Marisa, when the extreme music sounds, for your wise hands governed

Manuel López-Benito

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