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Kaleidoscope - Piano Encores / Shura Cherkassky


Release Date: 05/23/2006 
Label:  Eloquence   Catalog #: 4768537   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.Camille Saint-SaënsJean-Philippe RameauLeopold Godowsky,   ... 
Performer:  Shura Cherkassky
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Import   
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

For years I've hoarded an LP copy of Shura Cherkassky's "Kaleidescope", a 1974 studio recital of Romantic encores and transcriptions, in hopes that one day it might turn up on CD. That day has come, although I wish that Eloquence also had reprinted the irrepressible notes Cherkassky himself penned for the original release (not to disparage Raymond Tuttle's excellent, newly commissioned annotations). Cherkassky's sumptuous tone, ravishing legato touch, and propensity for bringing out inner voices (real and imagined) thrive like crazy in this repertoire. What relaxed authority and effortless textural differentiation he brings to Godowsky's garish rewrites of Saint-Saëns' The Swan, Rameau's Tambourin, Schubert's F minor Moment Read more Musical, and the Albéniz Tango! Rubinstein's once-hackneyed-now-ignored Melody in F rarely has sounded so eloquent and dignified.

The composer of the title track is Cherkassky's one-time teacher and mentor Josef Hofmann, and I slightly prefer the latter's leaner, more propulsive live performance over Cherkassky's softer-grained mastery. However, another Hofmann specialty, Moszkowski's Capriccio espagnole, showcases Cherkassky's repeated-note technique at its effortless best. He also keeps Godowsky's overly transcribed paraphrase on Johann Strauss II's Wein, Weib, und Gesang afloat and moving forward, making judicious and (to my mind) justifiable cuts along the way.

Several live performances fill out the disc. These include a fey Rachmaninov Polka de W. R., a gorgeously sung out Scriabin D major Prelude Op. 11 No. 5, a rather glib yet charismatically detailed Chopin A-flat Ballade, and an equally freewheeling account of the same composer's F minor Nocturne Op. 55 No. 2 that coheres more convincingly. For keyboard mavens with a sweet tooth, Shura Cherkassky was the Jacques Torres of the piano, and who wouldn't want to indulge?

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Wein, Weib und Gesang, Op. 333 by Johann Strauss Jr.
Performer:  Shura Cherkassky (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1869; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: Arranged: Godowsky 
2.
Carnival of the animals: no 13, The swan by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Shura Cherkassky (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; France 
Notes: Arranged: Godowsky 
3.
Pièces de clavecin: no 11, Tambourin in E minor by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Shura Cherkassky (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: France 
Notes: Arranged: Godowsky 
4.
Waltz Poem for Piano left hand no 4 by Leopold Godowsky
Performer:  Shura Cherkassky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
5.
Moments musicaux (6) for Piano, D 780/Op. 94: no 3 in F minor by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Shura Cherkassky (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823-1828; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: Arranged: Godowsky 
6.
Hojas de album (6), Op. 165 "España": no 2, Tango by Isaac Albeniz
Performer:  Shura Cherkassky (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; London, England 
Notes: Arranged: Godowsky  
7.
Triakontameron: no 11, Alt Wien by Leopold Godowsky
Performer:  Shura Cherkassky (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1920; USA 
8.
Charakterskizzen (4) for Piano: no 4, Kaleidoskop by Josef Hofmann
Performer:  Shura Cherkassky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1908 
9.
Melodies (2) for Piano, Op. 3: no 1 in F major by Anton Rubinstein
Performer:  Shura Cherkassky (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1852; Russia 
10.
Morceaux (6) for Piano, Op. 19: no 4, Nocturne in C sharp minor by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Shura Cherkassky (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873; Russia 
11.
Miniatures (3) for Piano, Op. 42: no 3, Valse in D major by Alexander Glazunov
Performer:  Shura Cherkassky (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
12.
Pièces humoristiques, Op. 87: no 4, Autrefois by Cécile Louise Chaminade
Performer:  Shura Cherkassky (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897; France 
13.
Caprice espagnol, Op. 37 by Moritz Moszkowski
Performer:  Shura Cherkassky (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
14.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 11: no 5 in D major by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Shura Cherkassky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1888-1896; Russia 
15.
Lachtäubchen (Behr) "Polka de W.R." by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Shura Cherkassky (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1911 
16.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, B 152/Op. 55: no 1 in F minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Shura Cherkassky (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1843; Paris, France 
17.
Ballade for Piano no 3 in A flat major, B 136/Op. 47 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Shura Cherkassky (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840-1841; Paris, France 

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