×

10% discount on your next order!

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive a personal discount code for 10% discount on a album of your choice! After subscribing, you will receive the code in your email. This code is only valid for 10 days!




The code is valid one time and valid for a 10 days after receiving the promotioncode. Your emailaddress will only be used by Challenge Records International and will not be given to 3rd party advertisers. If you have any questions please contact us.
Cover

Peter Donohoe

Tchaikovsky Solo Piano Works

  • Type CD
  • Label Signum Classics
  • UPC 0635212059425
  • Catalog number SIGCD 594
  • Release date 22 November 2019
Physical (CD)

NOW FOR € 18,36
€ 22.95
Add to cart
Digital

Get the album digitally

High resolution download Spirit of Turtle iTunes

About the album

Tchaikovsky’s contemporaries tell us that he was good enough to become a concert pianist, if he had chosen to follow that path. But he preferred to focus on composition, and rarely performed in public concerts. His interest in the piano is mainly to be found in his many pieces for the instrument, and since most of these were suitable for amateurs with solid skills, they sold well and played an important role in building up his fame. Writing for concert soloists was a more difficult task, and even Tchaikovsky’s most sympathetic critic, Hermann Laroche, while praising the melodic beauty of the piano music, suspected that the composer could not manage without “the varied and luxuriant colours of the modern orchestra and the great expanse of symphonic
form; only there … does he feel at home, but where his palette is more restricted, he sounds relatively impoverished”. To be fair, this was written in 1873, before Tchaikovsky finally turned his hand to the composition of more ambitious piano works. Tchaikovsky had the greatest respect for the music of Robert Schumann, whose influence on his piano music is obvious. Alongside his Russian colleagues, Tchaikovsky prized Schumann for his innovative spirit, but also for his ardent expression of emotion, which led him to avoid superficial virtuosity. Schumann’s piano music was often very challenging to play, but it was personal and intimate even so: the difficulties emerged from the spirit of the piece, and not from any external desire to impress the ladies (a charge levelled at Liszt, rather uncharitably). Tchaikovsky adhered closely to Schumann’s intimate approach outside the occasional showy
flourish.

But this is not to say that Tchaikovsky’s piano music was derivative, since he developed his own unmistakable style, with boundless melodic invention and a clarity of textural layers that bring to mind his orchestral sonorities. There are, if you listen closely, “woodwind” passages (as in one of the episodes in the final rondo of the G-major Sonata) or climaxes of roaring brass (as in the first movement of the same work). Konstantin Igumnov, a passionate advocate of Tchaikovsky’s piano music, and one of the first to record the Sonata), claimed that the piano pieces do not “play themselves”, and do not offer sonorities of self-evident beauty, in the manner of Chopin or Liszt: pianists need to discover how to convey them effectively, as they must do with
Beethoven, or indeed, with Schumann. As Igumnov put it, “Tchaikovsky’s piano music is difficult to perform, but not impossible”. Peter Donohoe disagrees, insisting that all music requires performers to find the right approach, so he does not see Tchaikovsky as any kind of exception. He writes:
“It is inexplicable to me that Tchaikovsky’s solo piano music should remain so infrequently performed, containing as it does all of the composer’s characteristic harmony, his wonderful melodic gift, his capacity for majestic gesture, magically beautiful moments, immense sadness, and passages of extreme excitement. His piano writing is often orchestral in texture, but also demonstrates the direct but very diverse pianistic influences of Liszt and Schumann, and incorporates in an almost naive way folk-style dance rhythms and melodies from Russia. This treasure trove is immensely rewarding to play, whether it be a small-scale salon piece such as the Humoresque Op. 10 No 2, or large in scale, such as is the gigantic Grand Sonata in G
Major.”

  • 1
    1
    Two Pieces Op. 1 Scherzo á la Russe in Bb Major Op. 1 No. 1
     
    06:24
  • 1
    2
    Two Pieces Op. 1 Impromptu in E Flat Minor, Op. 1 No. 2
     
    06:08
  • 1
    3
    Capriccio in G Flat Major, Op. 8
     
    05:25
  • 1
    4
    Six Pieces on One Theme, Op. 21 I. Prélude. Allegro moderato
     
    02:03
  • 1
    5
    Six Pieces on One Theme, Op. 21 II. Fugue à 4 voix. Andante
     
    03:06
  • 1
    6
    Six Pieces on One Theme, Op. 21 III. Impromptu. Allegro molto
     
    01:53
  • 1
    7
    Six Pieces on One Theme, Op. 21 IV. March funèbre. Moderato. Tempo di Marcia
     
    05:42
  • 1
    8
    Six Pieces on One Theme, Op. 21 V. Mazurque. Allegro moderato
     
    04:11
  • 1
    9
    Six Pieces on One Theme, Op. 21 VI. Scherzo. Allegro vivace
     
    04:50
  • 2
    1
    Aveu Passionné, Op. Post.
     
    03:01
  • 2
    2
    Sonata No. 2 in G Major, Op. 37 I. Moderato e risoluto
     
    11:57
  • 2
    3
    Sonata No. 2 in G Major, Op. 37 II. Andante non troppo quasi Moderato
     
    07:50
  • 2
    4
    Sonata No. 2 in G Major, Op. 37 III. Scherzo. Allegro giocoso
     
    03:20
  • 2
    5
    Sonata No. 2 in G Major, Op. 37 IV. Finale. Allegro vivace
     
    06:55
  • 2
    6
    Humoresque, Op. 10 No. 2
     
    02:48
  • 2
    7
    Doumka, Op. 59
     
    08:20

Add a comment


We need to make sure that you are really an human, please enter the code below.

code