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Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations, Op. 33; Nocturne, Op. 19/4; Pezzo capriccioso, Op. 62; Rococo Variations (revised by W. Fitzenhagen) / Istvan Vardai, cello

Album Summary

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Variations for Cello and Orchestra on a Rococo theme, Op. 33
>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Morceaux (6) for Piano, Op. 19
>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Pezzo capriccioso for Cello and Orchestra in B minor, Op. 62
>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Quartet for Strings in D Op. 11
Performer Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

An ardent admirer of Mozart, Tchaikovsky's splendid Variations on a Rococo Theme are full of subtle homages to the Classical composer. The theme itself, however, is an original invention by Tchaikovsky himself rather than an excerpt from the past. Composed for German cellist Wilhelm Fitzenhagen, the piece was not performed in its original form for many years after its initial composition, as Fitzenhagen had insisted on making changes to the structure and virtuosic cadenzas for its first performance, against Tchaikovsky's wishes. Both versions are included on this release, allowing the listener to fully appreciate the struggle between Tchaikovsky's Classical vision and Fitzenhagen's desire for the cello to shine. The composer's love for Mozart also comes to the fore in the Nocturne Op.19 No.4, one of six pieces initially composed for piano that showcases the lyrical melodies and clear structure Tchaikovsky strived to create. The folksong-like Andante cantabile was one of the composer's most popular movements during his lifetime, and, as was common, was often performed separately from the rest of the quartet. Along with Tchaikovsky's last piece for cello, the sprightly Pezzo capriccioso, this album exemplifies the composer's innate understanding of the instrument and illustrates perfectly how he brings this understanding to life. Featured on this disc is Hungarian cellist István Várdai, whose precocious talents led him to debut in The Hague at the age of just 13. Since then he has enjoyed a busy career, regularly performing at prestigious venues all over the world and most recently winning the 63rd ARD International Music Competition in Munich. This release sees him joined by the Pannon Philharmonic, also hailing from his home country, with young Finnish conductor Tibor Bogányi (himself a cellist) at the helm, whose 2013 release of Nielsen and Heininen was described by Gramophone magazine as "exquisite". Other information: Recorded in 2014 at the Kodály Centre, Pécs, Hungary. Notes on the composer and the pieces.

BBC Music Magazine, June 2015
An inexpensive way of comparing the original version of Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations with the adulteration by dedicatee Wilhelm Fitzhagen, for many years regarded as standard. Tasteful playing from Istvan Vardai.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Kodály, Centre, Pécs, Hungary (06/20/2014-06/22/2014).



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Works Details

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Variations for Cello and Orchestra on a Rococo theme, Op. 33
  • Performer: István Várdai (Cello)
  • Conductor: Tibor Bogányi
  • Ensemble: Pannon Philharmonic
  • Notes: Kodály, Centre, Pécs, Hungary (06/20/2014-06/22/2014)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1876

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Morceaux (6) for Piano, Op. 19
  • Performer: István Várdai (Cello)
  • Conductor: Tibor Bogányi
  • Notes: Kodály, Centre, Pécs, Hungary (06/20/2014-06/22/2014)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1873

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Pezzo capriccioso for Cello and Orchestra in B minor, Op. 62
  • Performer: István Várdai (Cello)
  • Conductor: Tibor Bogányi
  • Notes: Kodály, Centre, Pécs, Hungary (06/20/2014-06/22/2014)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1887

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Quartet for Strings in D Op. 11 :: II. Andante cantabile
  • Performer: István Várdai (Cello)
  • Conductor: Tibor Bogányi
  • Notes: Kodály, Centre, Pécs, Hungary (06/20/2014-06/22/2014)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1871

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Variations for Cello and Orchestra on a Rococo theme, Op. 33
  • Performer: István Várdai (Cello)
  • Conductor: Tibor Bogányi
  • Notes: Kodály, Centre, Pécs, Hungary (06/20/2014-06/22/2014)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1876