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Russian Piano Encores / Ashkenazy

Ashkenazy,Vladimir
Release Date: 08/07/2012 
Label:  Eloquence   Catalog #: 4803607   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sergei RachmaninovPeter Ilyich TchaikovskySergei TaneyevAnatole Liadov,   ... 
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Import   
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



RUSSIAN PIANO ENCORES Vladimir Ashkenazy (pn) DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 3607 (78:09)


TCHAIKOVSKY June (Barcarolle); op. 37b/6. Dumka, op. 59. TANEYEV Prelude and Fugue in g#, op. 29. LIADOV A Musical Snuff Box, Read more class="ARIAL12">op. 32. BORODIN Scherzo in Ab. SHOSTAKOVICH Lyric Waltz. Short Piece. Spanish Dance . Nocturne. Polka. PROKOFIEV Romeo and Juliet before parting. Masks. RACHMANINOFF Prelude in c#, op. 3/2. Etudes-Tableaux , No. 1 in c, No. 2 in a, No. 5 in eb , op. 39. Lilacs, op. 21/5. Daisies, op. 38/3. RACHMANINOFF-KOCSIS Vocalise, op. 34/14


All of the current tracks come from Ashkenazy’s extensive discography made for Decca between 1963 and 2004, and all are small- to medium-sized compositions, some of a virtuosic character, others of a more simplistic nature. Of course, a release like this is more a gimmick than an actual conceptual album in that most of it is recycled material. That does not take away its inherent charm—of which there is plenty here—but it does, on occasion, make one question who chose the various works that were programmed. Works like the Tchaikovsky June (Barcarolle) and the Liadov A Musical Snuff Box are prime examples of encore material; works such as Taneyev’s Prelude and Fugue in G? Minor—a composition of notorious difficulty, one which every Russian piano student had to learn at one time—is not. I am happy that it was included here, as it is a spectacular piece of music and one that should be played more often, but I cannot imagine (and I might be wrong here, though I don’t think so) that Ashkenazy ever played, nor would play this as an encore. That said, most of the other pieces qualify for the encore category (perhaps not the nine-minute Tchaikovsky Dumka or the over seven-minute A-Minor Rachmaninoff Etude-Tableaux , though I could see either of these being used in this way over the Taneyev), and most of them receive sparkling interpretations.


Tchaikovsky’s June has a bittersweet character to it, Liadov’s A Musical Snuff Box , a wonderful lilt and much energy, while Shostakovich’s twisted sense of humor in the Polka to the Age of Gold is well achieved—though no one has ever played it quite as successfully as Shura Cherkassky, who knew exactly where to hold back and where to push forward; his sense of timing was inimitable. Ashkenazy seems equally at home in Prokofiev. His reading of Romeo and Juliet before departing is heart wrenching. The Rachmaninoff Etude-Tableaux are also well executed (though I have my own personal favorites: Richter, Collard, and Gilels to mention a few). No. 1 is thrilling in its frantic pacing. It contrasts well with the second etude’s more simplistic bell-like rocking and lyrical qualities and with the fifth’s passionate outbursts and drive to its end. The simpler Rachmaninoff pieces are equally enjoyable, but the disc saves the best for last: Kocsis’s transcription of the Vocalise . It is an exquisite composition (the shimmering of the passagework with the simple melody underneath it is awe-inspiring). Ashkenazy provides a very fine performance of this miniature masterpiece. If you have these pieces scattered throughout your collection, then there is no need to acquire this release; if you haven’t, then this is an excellent way to get some great music in very fine performances—and all at a great price.


FANFARE: Scott Noriega
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Works on This Recording

1.
Morceaux de fantaisies (5), Op. 3: no 2, Prélude in C sharp minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Russia 
2.
Etudes-tableaux (9) for Piano, Op. 39: no 5 in E flat minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1916-1917; Russia 
3.
Etudes-tableaux (9) for Piano, Op. 39: no 2 in A minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1916-1917; Russia 
4.
Etudes-tableaux (9) for Piano, Op. 39: no 1 in C minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1916-1917; Russia 
5.
Songs (6), Op. 38: no 3, Daisies by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1916; Russia 
6.
Songs (14), Op. 34: no 14, Vocalise by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1912-1915; Russia 
Notes: Arranged for piano by Zoltan Kocsis. 
7.
Songs (12), Op. 21: no 5, Lilacs by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Russia 
8.
Les saisons, Op. 37b: no 6, Juin "Barcarolle" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
9.
Dumka for Piano in C minor, Op. 59 "Russian rustic scene" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; Russia 
10.
Prelude and Fugue in G sharp minor, Op. 29 by Sergei Taneyev
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
11.
Musical snuffbox, Op. 32 by Anatole Liadov
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1893; Russia 
12.
Scherzo for Piano in A flat major by Alexander Borodin
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; Russia 
13.
Dolls' Dances (7) for Piano, Op. 91c: Lyrical Waltz by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952-1962; USSR 
14.
Limpid stream, Op. 39: Nocturne by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934-1935; USSR 
15.
Age of Gold, Op. 22: Polka by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927-1930; USSR 
16.
Gadfly, Op. 97: Spanish Dance by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1955; USSR 
17.
Gadfly, Op. 97: Short Piece by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1955; USSR 
18.
Romeo and Juliet Suite no 2, Op. 64b: Romeo and Juliet Before Parting by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Paris, France 
19.
Romeo and Juliet Suite no 1, Op. 64a: no 5, Masks by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Paris, France 

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