One of the most grown-up review sites around

52,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!
£11 post-free

we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


with Eggebrecht we get all the excitement we can handle

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

absolutely thrilling

immediacy and spontaneity

Schumann Lieder

24 Preludes
one of the finest piano discs

‘Box of Delights.’

J S Bach A New Angle
Organ fans form an orderly queue

a most welcome issue

I enjoyed it tremendously

the finest traditions of the house

music for theorbo
old and new

John Luther Adams
Become Desert
concealing a terrifying message

ground-breaking, winning release

screams quality

Surprise of the month

English Coronation, 1902-1953
magnificent achievement

Plain text for smartphones & printers

We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Prelude No. 18, Op. 28 [0:58]
Prelude No. 2, Op. 28 [1:26]
Prelude No. 14, Op. 28 [0:44]
Prelude No. 4, Op. 28 [1:33]
Prelude No. 5, Op. 28 [0:35]
Prelude No. 8, Op. 28 [1:48]
Prelude No. 19, Op. 28 [1:39]
Prelude No. 20, Op. 28 [1:58]
Prelude No. 23, Op. 28 [1:14]
Prelude No. 24, Op. 28 [2:12]
Barcarolle in F-sharp, Op. 60 [8:48]
Etude in A-flat, Op. 10, No. 10 [2:21]
Etude in C, Op. 10, No. 7 [1:33]
Mazurka in A-minor, Op. 59, No. 1 [3:34]
Mazurka in A-flat, Op. 59, No. 2 [2:57]
Mazurka in B, Op. 56, No. 1 [4:19]
Ballade No. 3 in A-flat, Op. 47
Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)
Gaspard de la Nuit [21:07]
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Visions Fugitives [22:05]
André Tchaikowsky (piano)
rec. 11-12 March 1959, RCA Studios New York (Chopin); 4 June 1957, Salle Wagram, Paris
FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR 998/9 [44:53 + 43:13]

The Polish pianist and composer André Tchaikowsky made a combined total of only ten records for RCA Victor and Columbia, all at the start of his career. His difficult, uncooperative and, at times, abrasive personality alienated him from conductors and record producers alike. His concert career, especially in the States, similarly suffered as a result of his unconventional behaviour. His dislike of the social mores of the concert-giving circuit, and especially the patronage of the arts in America at the time by rich socialite ladies, is well-documented.

Tchaikowsky died from colon cancer at the age of forty-six in 1982 and CD reissues of his recordings have been rare. Dante, the now defunct French CD label, issued five volumes of the complete Columbia (EMI) recordings in 1996 as part of their Historical Piano Collection (HPC) series. An outstanding series, there’s an excellent Bach Goldberg Variations and a fine selection of Chopin Mazurkas as well as Haydn, Mozart and Schubert. The RCA recordings, unfortunately, have had no such advocates for CD reissue until recently. So die-hard fans, like myself, will be delighted at this release by Alain Deguernel’s Forgotten Records of the pianist’s Chopin, Ravel and Prokofiev recordings made for the company in the late fifties (FR998/9). Tchaikowsky’s RCA Mozart recordings, from around the same time, were also issued by Forgotten Records (FR680) a while back, which I favourably reviewed.

It is regrettable that Tchaikowsky didn’t set down the complete set of Chopin Preludes, but the ten we do have are idiomatic and well-characterized. To each he brings a wealth of imagination and flair, and the more virtuosic ones (8, 19, 24) are dispatched with panache and flair. The only disappointment is no 4: I would have preferred more of the poetry one finds in Cortot’s reading.

There is a freshness and spontaneity in the remaining Chopin items, with the pianist proving himself a sympathetic interpreter of his fellow countryman’s music. The Mazurkas are elegant and restrained with tastefully judged rubato. The Barcarolle and Ballade are inspired readings and intelligently constructed performances which stand alongside the best.

The highlight of the set for me is Gaspard de la Nuit. Ravel’s masterpiece, composed 1908 and based on poems by Aloysius Bertrand, is certainly one of the most technically demanding works in the piano repertoire. Tchaikowsky summons up all of his resources to deliver a performance of epic proportions. He gets to the very heart of each of the three pieces of this triptych. Ondine is mischievous and seductive. In Le Gibet he evokes an atmosphere of menace and suspense. There a real feeling of portent about the whole thing. Scarbo has energy, drive and vigour, all achieved with superb technical command. Tchaikowsky is well attuned to this impressionistic music and his control of dynamics, phrasing and achievement of layers of colour make this one of the most compelling accounts I have heard. I would rank it alongside my favourite version by Pogorelich.

Prokofiev’s Visions Fugitives were composed 1915-17. All short pieces, the average length of each is one minute. The inspiration came from the Russian Symbolist Konstantin Balmont ‘In every fleeting vision I see worlds / Filled with the changing play of rainbows.’ These twenty pieces explore a vast expressive range from the gentle and lilting to the violent and more declamatory. Tchaikowsky captures the changing moods with imaginative insight and a myriad palette of colour.

This release is a welcome addition to the sparse CD discography of this largely forgotten pianist. Alain Deguernel has done a sterling job with his source copies of RCA LSC LPs. Sound quality is first class and the acoustic and ambience is sympathetic to detail. There is no documentation but relevant websites are given. The excellent André Tchaikowsky website offers a valuable resource for those wishing to explore further.

Stephen Greenbank