Top 5: Maria Raspopova's Preludes

Top 5: Maria Raspopova's Preludes

Prelude No. 4 in E minor

I never get enough of playing Prelude No. 4. It’s meditative and dynamic at the same time. The chords in the left hand are written in such a way that all the changes are nuanced. It’s like speaking in a soft voice addressing a crowd. You can’t help but be pulled in close to the music.

Prelude No. 20 in C minor

Prelude No. 20 makes me feel like I am seeing something I’m not supposed to see. Like someone crying, or a couple sharing an intimate kiss. This is an expression of a deeply personal moment and somehow I am witnessing it. I feel special, but I also know that I’m not supposed to be here.

Prelude No. 7 in A Major

Possibly the most recognisable in the collection, I discovered Prelude No. 7 in Russia at the time when the first western commercials started to find their way on Russian television. This Prelude was used to advertise Tetley Tea. At 9 years old, I had pretty strong ideas, and I will never forget my shock at such ‘sacrilege’. Now when I play it, I can’t help but smile at my younger self’s reaction.

Prelude No. 9 in E Major

I’ve been told by some that Prelude No. 9 sounds like a Billy Joel song, which I don’t mind. There is a serious, intense, dramatic, even powerful character to it that I identify with.

Prelude No. 21 in B Flat Major

Prelude No. 21 is exquisite. It’s gentle, but requires my full attention to play. You might think it’s the right hand is the boss, but the left hand sings two fully developed melody lines and it’s the left hand that keeps me fully occupied.