By Kyle MacMillan for the Sun-Times
They might not have the sexiest title, and their 2½-hour duration is a little daunting. But Dmitri Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87, have proven to be a big hit — at least by classical music standards — for Russian pianist Alexander Melnikov.
His recording of this milestone cycle, or set of short pieces, was named one of the 50 greatest recordings of all time by BBC Music Magazine a year after its 2010 release, and the 44-year-old keyboard star has gone on to perform it on major concert stages across the world.