PRELUDES & FUGUES – J S Bach and Dmitri Shostakovich


One of Scotland’s leading musicians, Gusztáv Fenyő has been highly praised for his cycles of works by Beethoven, Chopin and Bartók.

In 2006 Gusztáv Fenyő gave the first complete Glasgow performance of the Shostakovich cycle (at the Recital Room) and he has been playing portions of it ever since. He will be performing the cycle in Budapest in October 2018. He has performed the two books of Bach’s 48 on a number of occasions over the last few years.

He writes: “The preparation and execution of these two cycles have much in common. I have been practising and playing the Bach work without the benefit of the sustaining pedal, a device created for the modern piano. Bach’s music for keyboard in no way includes musical sonorities sustained in this way and I believe it makes greater stylistic sense not to use it. Therefore, all legato (the binding together of notes, giving the illusion of a vocal or string sustained line) is done exclusively with the fingers. The Shostakovich carries on from this practice in inviting the performer to use little pedal, making the fingers play more expressively and brilliantly.

As a result of studying these works for over ten years, I have increased my awareness of counterpoint (several lines developed at the same time) and expressive voicing, as well as achieving greater clarity in my playing of other composers’ works, including expressiveness in the left hand.”

‘…the kind of musical charisma that seems to sharpen the listener’s powers of concentration…’ The Herald.

Full biography

For a fuller discussion of playing Bach on the piano, see Gusztáv’s blog

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