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Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker - Complete Ballet Arranged for Solo Piano / Goodyear


Release Date: 10/09/2015 
Label:  Steinway & Sons   Catalog #: 30040   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Stewart Goodyear
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 22 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


It’s tempting to scoff at the idea of The Nutcracker arranged for solo piano. After all, Tchaikovsky’s score is a masterpiece of melody and orchestration, and it’s easy to think that removing the latter would make for a lesser, inauthentic experience. Stewart Goodyear’s brilliant arrangement powerfully disproves this notion. So true it is to the style, nature, and spirit of the music, that not long into the performance you forget about the missing orchestra and focus instead on Tchaikovsky’s beguiling music. Indeed, you gain a new appreciation for the fecundity of Tchaikovsky’s melodic and harmonic invention in Goodyear’s exceptionally accomplished performance.

Even so, there’s a
Read more limit to what ten fingers can do, and Goodyear’s stirring Battle with the Mouse King Army does not include the military fanfares (played on trumpet in the orchestral version), and we are made to do without the ethereal sound of the children’s chorus in Dance of the Snowflakes. But overall, Goodyear’s playing is cause to marvel. He expectedly brings off the character dances with impressive finesse, but a greater test is in the dramatic passage just before the Battle scene, where Goodyear successfully delineates Tchaikovsky’s harmonically and contrapuntally complex writing to make it sound as clear and powerful as the orchestral original.

Steinway’s recording presents the piano naturally in an ideally balanced acoustic space, so nothing gets in the way of your enjoyment. Highly recommended.

– ClassicsToday (Victor Carr Jr.) Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Nutcracker, Op. 71 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Stewart Goodyear (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891-1892; Russia 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, VA 
Length: 78 Minutes 9 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  4 Customer Reviews )
 Amazing and wonderful! January 26, 2016 By Barbara S. (Dobbs Ferry, NY) See All My Reviews "This is a marvelous example of the piano as orchestra, conveying all the power and magic of the original orchestral score. Mr Goodyear is an astonishing pianist. This is a gem of a recording." Report Abuse
 Simply Amazing January 26, 2016 By George M. (Broomall, PA) See All My Reviews "This is a wonderful arrangement and performance by Stewart Goodyear. I have heard the Nutcracker Suite played in several instrumental arrangements, but to hear the entire ballet transcribed and played by solo piano is quite simply amazing. The performance, as well as the recording, is first rate in all respects. At 82 minutes, this is also the most generous single disc I've ever seen. I have held off investigating Mr. Goodyear's recordings of the Grieg, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov concertos, simply because I already have several CDs featuring those works. I may have to reconsider after listening to this CD. Here is hoping that he is willing to transcribe, perform and record Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty in their entirety as well. I will be first in line if he does." Report Abuse
 Where is Fantasy ? December 18, 2015 By Michel Coron (Pointe-claire, Quebec) See All My Reviews "Mr Goodyear is an excellent pianist. But I feel that something is missing. Is it the fact that it is piano solo ? Is it because I am so much accustomed to orchestral interpretation like Dorati's performance with Minneapolis. In playing very fast, the pianist shows his great virtuosity but Tchaikovsky is not Liszt. The result is lack of fantasy, of mystery." Report Abuse
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