Julian Saphir is currently enjoying an ever growing reputation as a virtuoso pianist of the highest calibre. Following a long absence from the concert platform, he has made a gradual and selective comeback enthralling audiences with his deeply profound interpretations and sheer virtuosity. To mark his first appearance at Pushkin House, Julian is offering a rare chance to hear the complete cycle of Rachmaninoff's Preludes. Widely regarded as the finest of the composer's shorter works the Preludes are published in two volumes. Ten Preludes Op 23 (1904) and Thirteen Preludes Op 32 (1910). After the completion of the first volume, Rachmaninoff considered the idea of completing the preludes using the remainder of the twelve major and minor keys as Chopin had done. His now famous C sharp minor Prelude (from an earlier set of piano pieces Op 3), was brought over to complete the full 24 keys and generally is regarded as the "first" Prelude in the cycle. Unlike Chopin's Preludes, however, Rachmaninoff 's do not follow the theoretical sequence of keys and are also larger and more texturally complex pieces.
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