Tchaikovsky: Album For The Young

Album cover art for upc 5029365102452
Catalog: PCL10245

Sheng, Yuan

While we associate Tchaikovsky with music of virtuoso power and difficulty, sweeping up audiences with the fire of the Violin Concerto and First Piano Concerto, he also applied himself to music for the ever-growing market of amateur music-makers during his lifetime. Like many other great composers, he knew how to write for musicians of moderate ability without compromising or simplifying the individuality of his voice as a composer. Also like many great composers, regularly finding himself in grim financial prospects, he tapped into a reliable source of income by supplying publishers who had a seemingly limitless market for music composed with amateur musicians in mind, especially by the acknowledged masters of their day. Both of the cycles recorded here by Yuan Sheng were produced for this market, comprising short pieces, most of them quite simple on the page, but thoroughly imbued with quintessentially Tchaikovskian qualities. As part of his Piano Classics discography, Yuan Sheng recorded The Seasons – Tchaikovsky’s best known solo piano cycle – in 2017. The album was widely welcomed for its serious approach to music which is too often treated trivially. Likewise, he invests these cycles with an authentic delicacy of touch and gravity of expression – in Tchaikovsky, tears are never very far away.

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