Nikolai Lugansky – Franck: Préludes, Fugues & Chorals (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:06:29 minutes | 888 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © harmonia mundi
Given the paucity of César Franck’s piano music on disc, Nikolai Lugansky’s focus on this composer is to be commended. On his third release for harmonia mundi, the Russian pianist reveals an organ master strongly attached to the musical forms inherited from J.S. Bach: the prelude, the fugue, and the chorale. Translated to the piano keyboard, Franck’s music, with it’s expansively conceived structures, requires a completely fresh approach that puts the greatest performers to the test: here, Lugansky took on an additional challenge by preparing his own transcription (a brilliant one, at that!) of Franck’s celebrated Choral pour grand orgue No.2.
After recording Rachmaninov’s 24 Preludes and a recital dedicated to Claude Debussy for his new publisher harmonia mundi, pianist Nikolai Lugansky extends his repertoire even further with a monographic album dedicated solely to César Franck. The list of piano works by this organ-playing composer was not very extensive, so Lugansky chose to perform the Prelude, Fugue and Variation Op. 18, and theChorale No. 2 , on the piano, both in the same key.
Written specifically for the piano, the two triptychs Prélude, Choral et Fugue and Prélude, Aria et Final are inspired by both Bach and Liszt and had an obvious influence on later French music, particularly with Albéric Magnard (Symphony No. 3) and all the way up to Francis Poulenc (Concerto for organ ).
Nikolai Lugansky constructs these pieces like a builder, with unfailing solidity. He brings out the architecture and the projections with power and fullness, while looking for what he calls “a French sound, a beauty of sonority and refined sound without lourdeur”. – François Hudry
1. Prélude, Choral et Fugue, FWV 21: Prélude. Moderato (4:48)
2. Prélude, Choral et Fugue, FWV 21: Choral. Poco più lento – Poco Allegro (6:30)
3. Prélude, Choral et Fugue, FWV 21: Fugue. Tempo I° (7:29)
4. Prélude, Aria et Final, FWV 23: Prélude. Allegro moderato e maestoso (9:17)
5. Prélude, Aria et Final, FWV 23: Aria. Lento (5:55)
6. Prélude, Aria et Final, FWV 23: Final. Allegro molto ed agitato (7:05)
7. Prélude, Fugue et Variation, Op. 18: I. Andantino. II. Lento (Arr. pour piano) (4:16)
8. Prélude, Fugue et Variation, Op. 18: III. Allegretto ma non troppo (Arr. pour piano) (3:14)
9. Prélude, Fugue et Variation, Op. 18: IV. Andantino (Arr. pour piano) (3:47)
10. Trois Chorals pour grand orgue, FWV 38-40: Choral No. 2 en Si Mineur, FWV 39. Maestoso. Largamente con fantasia. I° tempo ma un po (14:12)