Shura Cherkassky

ica classics: ICAC5020

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Shura Cherkassky

Catalogue No:






Release date:

26th April 2011




75 minutes


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Shura Cherkassky


Bourrée Fantasque


Piano Sonata No. 7 in B flat major, Op. 83

Saal 2, Funkhaus, Cologne, 21 January 1951


Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43

Saal 1, Funkhaus, Cologne, 17 April 1970

Kolner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester, Zdenek Macal

Polka de V.R.



(arr. Godowsky)


Three Movements from Petrushka

Saal 2, Funkhaus, Cologne, 21 January 1951



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Shura Cherkassky (1909–1995) was one of the greatest piano virtuosos of his time having studied under the legendary Josef Hofmann.

This WDR studio broadcast sourced from the original master tapes has Cherkassky playing Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini from 1970 in superb stereo. He recorded the Rhapsody only once in 1953 for EMI in mono but it has never been issued on CD so this taping is exceptionally important and adds a major work to Cherkassky’s large discography.

Prokofiev’s wartime Piano Sonata No.7 was never recorded commercially by Cherkassky so this is another addition to his discography sourced from WDR’s original master tapes. It was recorded in 1951 when Cherkassky was fast becoming a star in Germany.

The three scenes from Stravinsky’s Petruschka was a favourite virtuoso work for Cherkassky and this 1951 recording shows him at his most brilliant, sourced from WDR’s original master tapes. Three encores have been added from 1951 and 1953 (not sourced from WDR) which again showcase Cherkassky’s incredible technique during the early period of his career in Germany. Note that Cherkassky never recorded Chabrier’s Bourrée Fantasque commercially.

Sergei Rachmaninov: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43

Introduction: Allegro vivace - Variation 1: Precedente

Theme: L'istesso tempo

Variation 2: L'istesso tempo

Variation 3: L'istesso tempo

Variation 4: Piu vivo

Variation 5: Tempo precedente

Variation 6: L'istesso tempo

Variation 7: Meno mosso, a tempo moderato

Variation 8: Tempo I

Variation 9: L'istesso tempo

Variation 10: Poco marcato

Variation 11: Moderato

Variation 12: Tempo di minuetto

Variation 13: Allegro

Variation 14: L'istesso tempo

Variation 15: Piu vivo scherzando

Variation 16. Allegretto

Variation 17: (Allegretto)

Variation 18: Andante cantabile

Variation 19: A tempo vivace

Variation 20: Un poco piu vivo

Variation 21: Un poco piu vivo

Variation 22: Un poco piu vivo (Alla breve)

Variation 23. L'istesso tempo

Variation 24: A tempo un poco meno mosso

Sergey Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No. 7 in B flat major, Op. 83

I. Allegro inquieto - Poco meno - Andantino

II. Andante caloroso - Poco piu animato - Piu largamente - Un poco agitato

III. Precipitato

Igor Stravinsky: 3 Movements from Petrushka

No. 1. Danse russe (Russian Dance)

No. 2. Chez Petrouchka (Petrushka's Cell)

No. 3. La semaine grasse (The Shrove-tide Fair)

Sergei Rachmaninov: Polka de WR

Polka de WR

Jean-Philippe Rameau: Les fetes d'Hebe: Tambourin (arr. L. Godowsky)

Les fetes d'Hebe: Tambourin (arr. L. Godowsky)

Emmanuel Chabrier: Bourree fantasque (version for piano)

Bourree fantasque

The Telegraph

12th May 2011


“the pianist’s irrepressible spirit shines through in Prokofiev’s Seventh Sonata and the Stravinsky pieces.”

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