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Tchaikovsky: Rare Transcriptions and Paraphrases (Music from the Ballets), Vol. 2

Tchaikovsky: Rare Transcriptions and Paraphrases (Music from the Ballets), Vol. 2

July 2, 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 13, 2013
Format: Audio CD
First, let me say that I have a perhaps overly enthusiastic response to piano transcriptions of orchestral music; blame it on my past as a pianist who loved playing orchestral arrangements at my own piano. Tchaikovsky asked for friends and colleagues of his to make these transcriptions and without exception they are wonderful.

The musicians who made these transcriptions were Paul Pabst, Alexander Siloti, Percy Grainger and Nikolai Kashkin. All four of had close connections with each other and with Tchaikovsky. Pabst (1854-1897) was a favorite of Tchaikovsky, who described him as a 'divinely blessed pianist'. Pabst's brother Louis, also a pianist and composer, emigrated to Australia where he was an early mentor of the brilliant Aussie pianist/composer Percy Grainger (1882-1961). Alexander Siloti (1963-1945) was a first cousin of Rachmaninov (and his teacher) and had studied harmony at the Moscow Conservatory under Tchaikovsky. The least-known of the transcribers is Nikolai Kashkin (1839-1920); he was on the faculty of the Moscow Conservatory alongside Tchaikovsky.

The four transcriptions or arrangements:

1. Concert Paraphrase on 'The Sleeping Beauty', by Paul Pabst. This seven-minute piece collects various of the themes from the evening-long 'Sleeping Beauty' ballet. Unlike the following transcription which limits itself to the ballet's Third Act, Pabst's work uses themes from the whole thing. It is a work of surpassing virtuosity and is played as if child's play by Anthony Goldstone, one of England's finest pianists. It is of note that Pabst also made paraphrases of the operas 'Eugene Onegin', 'Mazeppa' and 'The Queen of Spades'. It seems likely that Goldstone, who has already recorded other transcriptions of Tchaikovsky's orchestral music Vol.
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