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Rachmaninov : Les préludes pour piano. Huangci.
Format : 1 CD
Total Time : 01:17:19

Recording : 18-20/03/2018
Location : Brême
Country : Allemagne
Sound : Stereo

Label : Berlin Classics
Catalog No. : 0301075BC
EAN : 0885470010755
Price Code : DM020A

Publishing Year : 2018
Release Date : 28/11/2018

Genre : Classical
Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
Prélude en do dièse mineur, op. 3 n° 2
10 Préludes, op. 23
13 Préludes, op. 32

Claire Huangci, piano

Chopin ? Scriabine ? Chopin assurément. Rachmaninov venait juste de boucler son opus 20, ses Variations sur un thème de Chopin, lorsqu’il s’attela au premier cahier des Préludes. Cette filiation par l’esprit, Claire Huangci, auteur d’une intégrale des Nocturnes du Polonais à laquelle je reviendrais, la souligne à loisir de sa lecture intériorisée, mesurée, secrète, qui ne cherche jamais l’éclat, n’entend pas briller comme celle, archétypale et toujours trop méconnue, de Constance Keene. Y eut-il jamais une intégrale si peu russe, si classique de ton, si intensément silencieuse – écoutez dans l’opus 32 le raffinement sombre qu’elle met au grand Prélude en si mineur puis l’esquisse de passepied dans celui en si majeur qui suit, effleuré. Quel beau piano, quel jeu d’une fausse simplicité où l’art cache l’art, quelle absence de pathos pour mieux faire résonner tout ce que ce piano a de moderne, je suis étonné soudain d’y entendre du Debussy, des clartés françaises jusque dans ce jeu subtilement ombré, une version différente à la musicalité souveraine, mais un conseil, boudez le célèbre Prélude en ut dièse mineur, joué métrique, sans ampleur, simplement raté, prélude malheureux aux vrais Préludes qui suivent. (Discophilia - (Jean-Charles Hoffelé)

Following on from her last, highly-acclaimed release of all of Chopin’s Nocturnes, the Chinese-American pianist Claire Huangci now takes on the next pianistic giant from the other end of the Romantic spectrum: Sergey Rachmaninov and his 24 Preludes. Claire Huangci explains that in recent years she has felt herself more and more attracted by entire cycles of works, “in order to better understand the longer spans of an individual composer’s life.” In the case of Rach-maninov and his 24 Preludes from three opus numbers, the challenge is very interesting, since he composed them over a period of 18 years. In 1892 Rachmaninov laid the foundation stone with the Prelude in C sharp minor op. 3 no. 2, which soon became one of his best known works. “If we are to fully appreciate the psychology of the prelude, then let us agree that its function is not to express a mood, but to precipitate it.” If we transpose that concept to all of Rachmaninov’s Preludes, then this statement makes it clear that the diversity of emotions that Rachmaninov wished to convey was vast. The 10 Preludes op. 23 of 1903 and the 13 Preludes op. 32 of 1910 complete the double dozen and clearly outline the Russian composer’s evolving intentions: “You can hear the transition. Rachmaninov’s music became more complex, more contrapuntal; it became harmonically more interesting and more exciting,” according to pianist Alexis Weissenberg. Claire Huangci, once hailed as a child prodigy, who most recently won the Concours Géza Anda, one of the toughest piano competitions of all, “has developed into a mature artist,” the jury concluded. Still in her twenties, she has already established herself as a popular pianist, giving concerts from China to the USA. The fact that she has now turned to this pinnacle of the late Romantic piano literature illustrates clearly both her consistent self-expectation with regard to her pianistic performance and her interpretational maturity. Even if one or other prelude may seem “to have added a devilish twist to the most challenging of Chopin’s and Liszt’s preludes,” they are for Claire Huangci not simply technical practice pieces, not just a way of showing off her pianistic skills; they reveal the true core of Rachmaninov’s character: “a symbiosis of modest purity and the most filigree virtuosity.”

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