Zaderatsky: 24 Preludes & Fugues
The twentieth century brought forth many examples of the suppression of works by certain composers and even of whole categories of music. Numerous composers' works, for example, were banned as "degenerate" by the Nazis. Even so, Vsevolod Zaderatsky's fate was exceptional. It remains unprecedented that a composer of Zaderatsky's rank should spend his whole life under such political suppression and that he had absolutely no opportunity to present his music to the public in any way at all. Not a single work of his was published during his lifetime and there were no performances worth mentioning. It is a marvel that he even survived Stalinism; many of his compositions did not survive, having either been deliberately destroyed or fallen victim to circumstances. Zaderatsky's life seems to have been a hopeless, unequal battle: a musician against all-powerful state machinery intent on destroying his works and even threatening his life. The background to the 24 Preludes and Fugues for piano marks a particularly dramatic chapter of his struggle during detention in the Gulag. Here, his 24 Preludes are presented in their entirety by pianist and musicologist Jascha Nemtsov.