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ProPiano

Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936)
Piano Transcriptions
Concert Waltz for Orchestra No. 1 Op. 47 (1893) transcribed Felix Blumenfeld
The Seasons (1900) transcribed by Alexander Glazunov
Per Tengstrand (piano)
Recorded Pro Piano Hall, June 2002
PRO PIANO PPR224537 [47.38]


Pro Piano notes that these are the first ever recordings of the piano transcriptions of The Seasons and the Concert Waltz for Orchestra No. 1 – not to be confused with the Grande Valse de Concert, his. Op 41 and written in the same year. The former is in the composer’s own transcription whilst the latter was entrusted to that transcriber supreme Felix Blumenfeld – he was also, in addition to his high status as a concert pianist, a loyal proponent of Glazunov’s piano music and was the most suitable candidate for the job. The pianist entrusted to record these two works by Pro Piano is Swedish born Per Tengstrand, a Geneva prizewinner in 1996 and a laureate in the previous year’s Long-Thibaud Competition.

The Concert Waltz emerges full of nice right hand roulades and fine style – a splendid transcription of appositely idiomatic charisma. As for The Seasons I can’t really imagine anyone preferring it in this guise but its utility as a domestic or recital item can’t be undervalued and nor can the real pleasure it gives one to hear it newly unclothed. Tengstrand is on his mettle here, contributing an excellently voiced First Tableau, and filigree right hand in the third Variation where his command of balletic-concert drive is optimum. I liked his stylish and unaffected playing and his technical eloquence. In a variation such as this he brings out the poetry and also the staunch underpinning left hand harmonies. And in the Valse des Bluets et des Pavots he evinces real verve and rhythmic élan, as indeed he mines a rich romanticism in the Barcarolle. And yes he’s suitably openhearted and joyful in the Fourth Tableau, the Autumn Bacchanal, and expert at keeping a rein on contrastive material. Throughout his chording is carefully but frequently beautifully voiced.

Pro Piano’s disc comes in a slim line fold affair with succinct notes. The acoustic in their hall is first class – it may seem big at first but it catches detail without clinical precision and expands naturally and warmly at the climaxes. At forty-seven minutes this may seem poor value but there are premiere recordings here and I think in Tengstrand we may just have the makings of a real talent.

Jonathan Woolf

 

 



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