International Record Review

The enterprising Divine Art label (and its subsidiary Métier) is indefatigable in bringing out neglected repertoire. Among its 300 plus albums already issued, IRR readers will have undoubtedly spotted the ten-volume Russian Piano Music series, featuring Lyapunov, Gliére, Arensky, Rebikov and Weinberg alongside the likes of Prokofiev and Rachmaninov, and played by artists of the calibre of Anthony Goldstone and Murray McLachlan.

Goldstone brings to a close his two-volume survey of Tchaikovsky transcriptions (Volume 1 was reviewed in September 2012) with a disc of ballet music. The relentless virtuosity of Paul Pabst’s Concert Paraphrase on the Sleeping Beauty almost smothers the famous waltz theme and leaves the pianist no climax-building opportunities: the result approaches the dogged even with Goldstone in charge. Then follows the whole of Sleeping Beauty’s Act 3, transcribed by Alexander Siloti: solidly but brilliantly played, this sounds like a (48- minute) dance rehearsal run-through and I imagine balletomanes will get more out of it than the rest of us. Grainger’s Paraphrase on Waltz of the flowers from ‘The Nutcracker’ is better known and piano fanciers will enjoy comparing Goldstone’s version with others. The disc closes with ‘Pas de Trois’ from Swan Lake, transcribed by Nikolai Kashkin.

Goldstone’s comprehensive and highly articulate booklet note is a model of its kind: this generously filled disc is – unavoidably given the ‘stun the punters in every bar’ nature of it all – best listened to in small doses.

—Michael Round