24 Preludes, Op. 34 (Shostakovich)

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The circle of Fifths

The 24 Preludes, Op.34, is a set of short piano pieces written and premiered by Dmitri Shostakovich in 1933. They are arranged following the circle of fifths, with one prelude in each major and minor key.


Shostakovich began composing the preludes in December 1932, shortly after finishing composition of the opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District. He completed the cycle in March 1933, and premiered it in Moscow himself in May of the same year.[1] He composed the preludes largely in order to return to public performance.[2] He had stopped performing in 1930, after his failure to place at the 1927 First International Chopin Piano Competition.[3] The Preludes were first published by Muzgiz in 1935, two years after their premiere.[1]


  1. ^ a b Hulme, Derek (2010). Dmitri Shostakovich Catalogue: The First Hundred Years and Beyond. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press. pp. 114–16. ISBN 0810872641.
  2. ^ Moshevich, Sofia (2014). Dmitri Shostakovich, Pianist. Montréal: McGill-Queen's University Press. pp. 70–71. ISBN 0773571256.
  3. ^ Fay, Laurel (2000). Shostakovich: A Life. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 37, 73. ISBN 0195182510.
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