Tchaikovsky: Potpourri

Album cover art for upc 747313384471
Label: NAXOS
Catalog: 8573844
Format: CD

Coburn, Lance

Award-winning pianist Lance Coburn has been schooled in and inspired by the Russian pianistic tradition, and sees this ‘potpourri’ of rarities as something akin to a snapshot of Tchaikovsky’s more famous works. Ranging from wistful sentiment to fiery complexity, the Theme with Variations comes from Tchaikovsky’s period of studies at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, while the transcriptions include a medley of themes rescued from the early opera Voyevoda, the emotionally charged Aveu passionne, and a Coronation March that the composer described as ‘noisy but bad.’ The works in this charming and fascinating program fall into the category of ‘rarities’ that are more often found in complete editions but hardly ever beyond. The title ‘Potpourri’ is apt here in many regards, the works here spanning Tchaikovsky’s student days to a Military March in B-flat composed in the year of his death. The only piece actually composed for solo piano is the Theme and Variations in A minor, but this takes nothing away from the collection which provides valuable insights into Tchaikovsky’s less frequently explored output, and delivers a recital of unique attractiveness.

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