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Rimsky-Korsakov for Piano Duo: Scheherazade; Antar; Neapolitan Song / Goldstone and Clemmow, pianists

Album Summary

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Scheherazade, symphonic suite for piano, 4 hands, Op. 35arr
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Symphony, "Antar" (iv), for orchestra no 2, Op. 9
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Neapolitan Song (Neapolitanskaya pesenka), tone poem for orchestra, Op. 63
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov arranged his most famous work, Scheherazade, and the little jolly Neapolitan Song, op. 63, for piano four hands. His wife Nadezhda Purgold, herself an accomplished pianist and composer, made the four-hand arrangement of the middle-eastern inspired symphonic suite Antar; this is its first recording. The transcription of Scheherazade is highly complex but enormously effective and rewarding. There is scope for more spontaneity and flexibility than is possible with a large orchestra, and the timbres are remarkably pungent. Two decades before Scheherazade, he'd turned to the tale of Antar at the suggestion of Balakirev and Mussorgsky. On this subject he planned to compose a symphony or symphonic poem in four movements. It would go through three versions before being published as Antar, Symphonic Suite (2nd Symphony), op. 9. The celebrated piano duo of Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow ("a dazzling husband and wife team" - Gramophone), whose nearly thirty recordings include a ground-breaking 7CD cycle of the complete original piano duets of Schubert, add to their growing discography.

American Record Guide, March/April 2015
It is somewhat surprising that composers who are legendary for their skill at orchestration also made very effective piano transcriptions of their major symphonic works. I hear a lot of Ravel and Stravinsky orchestral works played on the piano (2 and 4 hands). Liszt's famous transcription of Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique was perhaps the earliest major work in this genre. I knew of these Rimsky-Korsakoff transcriptions and have even held an old score of Scheherazade in the arrangement played here. Antar is Rimsky-Korsakoff's Symphony 2 and it exists in several versions: 1868, 1875, 1897, 1903. The first version was transcribed for piano duet, complete with stories for each movement - all in French. It is new to me.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, England (1990); St. John the Baptist Church, Alkborough, North Lincolns (1990); Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, England (2013); St. John the Baptist Church, Alkborough, North Lincolns (2013).



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Works Details

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Scheherazade, symphonic suite for piano, 4 hands, Op. 35arr
  • Performers: Caroline Clemmow (Piano); Anthony Goldstone (Piano)
  • Running Time: 41 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1888

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Symphony, "Antar" (iv), for orchestra no 2, Op. 9
  • Performers: Caroline Clemmow (Piano); Anthony Goldstone (Piano)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1903

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Neapolitan Song (Neapolitanskaya pesenka), tone poem for orchestra, Op. 63
  • Performers: Caroline Clemmow (Piano); Anthony Goldstone (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1907