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It is astonishing to recall that five years after the premiere of Swan Lake, one of the greatest of all Russian ballets, and of Tchaikovsky’s three full-length ballets the one with the greatest number of memorable tunes, the composer wrote to his editor: “To save this music from sinking into oblivion, I would like to make it into a concert suite modelled on Delibes…published both as a symphonic score and as a transcription for four hands.” The original transcription by the pianist Eduard Langer is heard on this recording with piano duet versions of concert suites from The Sleeping Beauty, commissioned from Rachmaninov and Ziloti, though later corrected by the composer himself, and from The Nutcracker, transcribed by Stepan Esipoff.
Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty Suite, Op. 66a (arr. S. Rachmaninov for 2 pianos)
I. Introduction - The Lilac Fairy
II. Adagio - Pas d'action
III. Characteristic Dance
Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake Suite, Op. 20a (arr. for 2 pianos)
III. Dance of the Swans
V. Hungarian Dance, "Csardas"
Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a (arr. for 2 pianos)