American Record Guide

This recital is devoted to arrangements, transcriptions, and paraphrases from operas. Several of them, rarely heard, are especially welcome in Goldstone’s most musical hands. None are played as mere virtuoso vehicles, though he certainly does not lack the technical ability to wow an audience.

Liszt is given his due with the Rigoletto Paraphrase, Grande Fantasia on Norma , and Isolde’s Liebestod . All of them are played with appropriate panache, with the lengthy Bellini especially dramatic.

Chopin’s La Ci Darem La Mano Variations begins with a introduction followed by a really jaunty statement of the theme. Goldstone makes little attempt to impart anything beyond a mock seriousness to the proceedings. As the five variations progress they are played with a wink of the eye and a hint of caustic humor befitting the circumstances between the Don and Zerlina.

A duet of another kind is offered in Percy Grainger’s Ramble On the Last Love-Duet in Der Rosenkavalier . This is gentle, but gorgeous music, arranged to take full advantage of the luscious sounds by adding to them. Goldstone milks it for all its worth. Deliciously irreverent!

Busoni’s Carmen Fantasy joins the many compositions inspired by Bizet’s immortal music, but draws on many sections not usually heard. Busoni goes far afield from mere transcription, and the result is fascinating.

Also heard is Mendelssohn’s Fantasy on the Last Rose of Summer , Rachmaninoff’s arrangement of ‘Flight of the Bumble Bee’, and Grunfeld’s Soiree de Vienne , largely based on Die Fledermaus .

All of this makes for a most likable and satisfying recital. Goldstone knows how to get to the heart of everything he plays, writes his own entertaining notes, and enjoys excellent sound from the engineers.

—Becker