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Tchaikovsky; The Seasons / Balakirev; Islamey


Price: £10.30 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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£10.30 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Product details

  • Conductor: None
  • Composer: Tchaikovsky
  • Audio CD (6 Oct. 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Newton Classics
  • ASIN: B00CJCPG8I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 682,655 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. January: By the Fireside
2. February: Carnival
3. March: The Song of the Lark
4. April: The Snowdrop
5. May: White Nights
6. June: Barcarolle
7. July: The Reaper's Song
8. August: The Harvest
9. September: The Hunt
10. October: Autumn Song
11. November: In the Troika
12. December: Christmas
13. Islamey, 'Fantaisie Orientale'

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 Aug. 2013
This CD was originally issued in 1998. It was recorded by Yefim Bronfman in the legendary acoustics of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy, New York, a site used for many extraordinary recordings. Its sonics are exemplary.

'The Seasons' by Tchaikovsky was written for amateur pianists. It appeared month by month in a Russian periodical. It is likely that, although the music IS Tchaikovsky after all, the composer didn't take it terribly seriously. Indeed the legend is that an assistant had to remind him each month to toss another installment. The works are pleasant and in some cases quite beautiful -- for instance, the luscious piece for June, 'Barcarolle', which sometimes figures as an encore in piano recitals. The music is played with finesse and a gentle touch by Bronfman. He resists any temptation to make these pieces more virtuosic than they actually are. However,my own favorite recording of 'The Seasons' by by Lydia Artimiw but alas it is no longer easily available.

Balakirev's 'Islamey', however, is a virtuosic barn-burner; it used to be said that it is one of the hardest pieces for any pianist to play. That is actually hardly the case but it does take a virtuoso like Bronfman to play it well even though these days it seems every young pianist plays it. I've heard it played gorgeously, as here, but sometimes with a trudging dutifulness, making it difficult to hear. This 'Oriental Fantasy' takes a little less than nine minutes to play. And it has been recorded beautifully by other pianists. Strangely, my favorite version of 'Islamey' is a recording made in 1926 (!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Pleasant 'Seasons', Incendiary 'Islamey', Short Timing 17 Aug. 2013
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
This CD was originally issued in 1998. It was recorded by Yefim Bronfman in the legendary acoustics of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy, New York, a site used for many extraordinary recordings. Its sonics are exemplary.

'The Seasons' by Tchaikovsky was written for amateur pianists. It appeared month by month in a Russian periodical. It is likely that, although the music IS Tchaikovsky after all, the composer didn't take it terribly seriously. Indeed the legend is that an assistant had to remind him each month to toss another installment. The works are pleasant and in some cases quite beautiful -- for instance, the luscious piece for June, 'Barcarolle', which sometimes figures as an encore in piano recitals. The music is played with finesse and a gentle touch by Bronfman. He resists any temptation to make these pieces more virtuosic than they actually are. However,my own favorite recording of 'The Seasons' by by Lydia Artimiw but alas it is no longer easily available.

Balakirev's 'Islamey', however, is a virtuosic barn-burner; it used to be said that it is one of the hardest pieces for any pianist to play. That is actually hardly the case but it does take a virtuoso like Bronfman to play it well even though these days it seems every young pianist plays it. I've heard it played gorgeously, as here, but sometimes with a trudging dutifulness, making it difficult to hear. This 'Oriental Fantasy' takes a little less than nine minutes to play. And it has been recorded beautifully by other pianists. Strangely, my favorite version of 'Islamey' is a recording made in 1926 (!) by the young Claudio Arrau, available on one of his 'Great Pianists of the 20th Century' volumes Claudio Arrau - Great Pianists of the 20th Century. Another unlikely recommendation comes from that quintessential Brahms pianist, Julius Katchen, who played the bejeezus out of 'Islamey' on HIS Great Pianists volume Great Pianists of the 20th Century - Julius Katchen, Vol.1.

A drawback of this recording is its short timing, only ca. 50 minutes.

Scott Morrison
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