Antonio Galera, piano
A prelude generally precedes something but, in music, it is also a sort of separate piece that itself reveals all its relevance. Some examples are very clear in this album by Antonio Galera which contains more than just preludes. By adding them to the album, Galera creates a kind of implicit and explicit context of historical review about the meaning of a term which is at the same time an announcement, a complement of what is to come (Johann Sebastian Bach and Dmitri Shostakovich) and a unit (Chopin, Scriabin and Rachmaninov). It even serves as a starting point for a more complex formal conception considering thematic or structural aspects (Cesar Franck). Yet, there is another vision of the prelude as a pretext, as a composition whose lack of formality is worth the paradox. This form gives it the possibility of going beyond its possible technical approach, knot and denouement, and its own mechanism. This is what happens in Debussy’s Preludes which, further than the use of the term as a mean for their writing, appeal to a more or less detailed description of their content. Liszt would have done it with his Études d’Exécution Trascendante, despite the fact that the former is, in effect, a Prelude, and the latter is a Study in F minor. Interestingly, these Preludes by Debussy could be placed alongside other works by the author himself in which he does not use this name, but Images or Estampes, in which the vignettes composing them are linked by a generic title, a much more evocative one than the so little significant Preludes.
Johann Sebastian Bach: Prelude No.8 in E-flat minor BWV 645
Now that I do not have to look for a piano for him, because he surely has one in every city he visits, I hope he will always give me a seat near the stage to enjoy his exquisite sensitivity in the interpretation of pieces that tend to match, as a miracle, with the most intimate of my tastes. He preserves the candour, and this is a treasure for an artist. Maturity and candour, what a difficult combination and how it shines when it happens.