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Tchaikovsky: Music for Cello & Orchestra CD

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Orchestra: English Chamber Orchestra
  • Conductor: Geoffrey Simon
  • Composer: Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky
  • Audio CD (1 Oct. 1999)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B000000ACK
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 300,798 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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2
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3:25
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5:57
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6
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7:39
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Format: Audio CD
This disc, very well recorded and issued originally in 1983, brings together all of the works for solo cello written by Tchaikovsky and as Tchaikovsky originally intended. They are all played with assurance and sensitivity by Wallfisch.

Undoubtedly the most important work here is the Rococo Variations. This has suffered for most of its existence from the interference from its dedicatee, Wilhelm Fitzenhagen who made numerous alterations to the score including the deletion of the 8th variation and re-ordering the rest. He also added repeat marks and changed various dynamics. Even the orchestration was adjusted by the publisher to fit with Fitzenhagen's version. None of this amused Tchaikovsky whose response to the publication was ' The devil take it' but up to now this has been the version played internationally.

Wallfisch, on this disc, plays the original 1876 version from the Russian Collected Edition of the complete works of Tchaikovsky and it is radically different and improved. Not least we hear the work with the balance between the variations as originally conceived so the whole work hangs together better. Much the same problem of interference affected the Pezzo Capriccioso, this time from Fitzenhagen's pupil, Brandukov. In this recording we, once more, benefit by hearing the work as Tchaikovsky wrote it in 1887.

The remaining pieces on the disc are original arrangements and orchestrations for cello and orchestra comprising the two songs, 'Christ had a garden' and 'Was I not a blade of grass?' plus the Andante Cantabile taken from Tchaikovsky's 1st string quartet and a popular solo item in its own right.

This is a valuable disc for several reasons.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9532872c) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95518b28) out of 5 stars A Great Tchaikovskian Pleasure 16 Dec. 2009
By Aronne - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This disc includes the Original Version of the Rococo Variations, unchanged by the cellist who decided to modify the order of Tchaikovsky's work. It is a charming piece that shows Tchaikovsky at his most Mozartian.

The Pezzo Capriccioso isn't one of my favorite Tchaikovsky works, but it is pleasant enough. The remaining four pieces are arrangements of earlier works. The Nocturne was originally published as a piano piece, Christ Had a Garden and Was I Not a Blade of Grass? as songs, and the Andante cantabile as the second movement of the String Quartet No. 1. None aspire to the heights of the Rococo Variations, but are wonderful miniatures nevertheless. I find the melancholy Nocturne particularly enjoyable.

The performances highlight the lyrical qualities of this music. Raphael Wallfisch lovely cellos playing is impeccable. He is backed up well by the English Chamber Orchestra and Geoffrey Simon (who conducted a number of rare Tchaikovsky works for Chandos).

A pity Tchaikovsky did not write more for cello and orchestra! As it is, this disc times in at a scant 47:41. Even an arrangement by someone other than Tchaikovsky would have been welcome. Still, anyone willing to spend the money on this lovely CD will not be severely disappointed. This is some delightful music-making.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9554d060) out of 5 stars The perfect compilation of Tchaikovsky's cello works in their original form 19 Feb. 2013
By I. Giles - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This disc, very well recorded and issued originally in 1983, brings together all of the works for solo cello written by Tchaikovsky and as Tchaikovsky originally intended. They are all played with assurance and sensitivity by Wallfisch.

Undoubtedly the most important work here is the Rococo Variations. This has suffered for most of its existence from the interference from its dedicatee, Wilhelm Fitzenhagen who made numerous alterations to the score including the deletion of the 8th variation and re-ordering the rest. He also added repeat marks and changed various dynamics. Even the orchestration was adjusted by the publisher to fit with Fitzenhagen's version. None of this amused Tchaikovsky whose response to the publication was ' The devil take it' but up to now this has been the version played internationally.

Wallfisch, on this disc, plays the original 1876 version from the Russian Collected Edition of the complete works of Tchaikovsky and it is radically different and improved. Not least we hear the work with the balance between the variations as originally conceived so the whole work hangs together better. Much the same problem of interference affected the Pezzo Capriccioso, this time from Fitzenhagen's pupil, Brandukov. In this recording we, once more, benefit by hearing the work as Tchaikovsky wrote it in 1887.

The remaining pieces on the disc are original arrangements and orchestrations for cello and orchestra comprising the two songs, 'Christ had a garden' and 'Was I not a blade of grass?' plus the Andante Cantabile taken from Tchaikovsky's 1st string quartet and a popular solo item in its own right.

This is a valuable disc for several reasons. It is especially valuable for restoring Tchaikovsky' original works to public attention and by making the complete cello works available in one convenient package. In addition the performances are all excellent as well as been revelatory and finally the recording is good with fine balance between the cello and the orchestra.

I would suggest that this disc deserves special consideration from anyone interested in the program and especially in hearing the program as originally conceived. It makes a strong case to remove Fitzenhagen's and Brandukov's versions from the concert platform.

............................................

Some dialogue from the comments section that may offer further help:

I totally agree with your comments about the importance of this issue.........Thanks for the great review.. (US review)

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95343a98) out of 5 stars This recording demands attention.. 23 Feb. 2014
By Thomas Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
along with Geoffrey Simon's other recording of the 'unknown' Tchaikovsky' (Symphony 2 / Romeo & Juliet Overture,) and his pioneering work (along with that of cellist Raphael Wallfisch) needs to be taken-up by other performers (including eliminating Siloti's butchered 2nd Piano Concerto from the concerto stage and recording studio). Regarding the 'Rococo Variations', David Brown in his essential biography of the composer (Tchaikovsky: The Man and His Music), wrote:

"And so it remained until, in 1941, the original version was played at a concert in Moscow. But still it did not catch on, and it was not until 1979 that it was first heard in public in the UK when Raphael Wallfisch played it in a broadcast performance. Since then, though some other cellists have taken up the original version, Wallfisch was unable to find a publisher until 2004. Now, however, all the performing material is available, and it is only a matter of time before Fitzhagen's travesty is finally consigned to the dustbin of history."

I think Brown's prediction from 2007 was premature; it appears that the only new recordings of the original version that has appeared since Wallfisch in 1983 is that of Steven Isserlis Tchaikovsky:Rococo Variations(admittedly a powerful advocate). But perhaps if Rostropovich or Yo-Yo Ma had taken it up, the piece might have indeed gained traction with the listening public.

This is a beautiful program, beautifully performed. Highly Recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95343c60) out of 5 stars A real jewel for every Tchaik lover. 18 Mar. 2010
By Colloredo von Salzburg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is one of my most beloved CD's from my Tchaikovsky collection.
It includes his complete works for cello and orchestra. The main jewel
included is the original version of the Rococo Variations, that has some
differences with the final and much more known version. The other hit is
the rarely played and less known Pezzo Capriccioso Op.62, that despite
its briefness is a very beautiful and inspired piece. The cellist,
Raphael Wallfisch, played heavenly and has left here one of his best
recordings. An essential for every Tchaikovsky collection.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9551896c) out of 5 stars Beautiful rendering, except for two minutes before the end. 6 Jan. 2014
By Luis Rodriguez - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The performance of Tchailovky's work is excellent, but just two minutes before the ending there is a minor blemish in the recording. Otherwise is one of few performances of the work as the composer intended.
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