NON-liszt Great Piano Transcriptions

recently discovered some transcriptions of orchestral/operatic pieces that sound pretty good…

Bach-Katsaris badinerie and fugue
Ginsburg (Rossini) - Figaro’s Cavatina from Barber Of Seville
Mussorgsy - Korsakov - Chernov Night on the Bare Mountain
strauss-moritz bomhard - die fledermaus waltzes

Anyone know of any transcriptions that deserve more recognition? esp. of famous works?

personally i think tchai nutracker pas de deux - pletnev and strauss-grunfield fledermaus are 2 of the best ever

I like Godowsky’s fledermaus better.

Schultz-evler Blue Danube :slight_smile:

Because its a waltz, I’d prefer a transcription with a clear waltz rhythm for the MOST part.

Moritz von Bomhard: “Die Fledermaus” Waltzes

IN fact, I personally dislike most transcriptions of great melodies (incl godowky’s) that are TOO free, too ‘metamorphosed’ in rhythm/melody and harmony - though I understand that’s the appeal for some.
The worst case for me would be something like sorabji’s pastiche on habanera - great original melody, completely damaged (i hate atonality for the SAKE of it!)

Guess what I’m tryin to say is its possible to write a great transcription that still preserves the original character/harmony/rhythm to a large extent yet still have all the virtuosic elements as well,

eg. bach-busoni chaconne
khatchaturian-cziffra sabre-danse
liszt ts
etc etc…

seconded on the Schultz-evler

i want to learn that thing.

I agree, the schulz evler is a perfect example, though many pianists skip the intro for some reason

hehe have fun.What a beast it is 8) 8) :dong: :dong:

Just try to play it and you’ll know what that “some reason” is.


I’m not really a fan of waltzes, they’re almost always horribly banal - and waltz transcriptions even more so. For a transcription to succeed the work transcribed has to be substantive music, the transcription has to be effective for the piano, and not merely a technical stunt. The blue danube is a beautiful melody but I haven’t heard one transcription of it that didn’t sound like a vacuous showpiece (schultz-evler, cziffra etc). This sort of music doesn’t interest me at all.

edit: when I say “transcription” I really mean paraphrase or fantasy. Strict transcription fares better, although it is rare that it even approaches the original. This depends on the skill of the transcriber.

Vacuous - Cziffra danube? c’mon
i guess you don’t like tchaikovsky-grainger nutcracker waltz either?

I’m a big fan of waltz ‘transcriptions’. Actually, I hate the word showpiece - theoritically most pieces could be 'show’pieces. I often like pieces purely for their entertainment value (even if they’re not that musical - another subjective term.) i guess we differ here quite a lot.

But I agree its nice to have a transcription that sounds simply ‘orchestral’ and faithful to the score. mussorgsky - chernov bare mountain is a decent example

Godowsky - Tons
Mendelssohn arr. Rach - Scherzo
Bach arr. Rach - E maj. Violin Partita
Busoni - Tons…

The Schulz-Evler is abominably awkward.

haha da ZIFF iz da bez


btw e60=cokk

Friedman Paganini Vars

If you are asking for transcriptions, the majority of what you’ll find are probably show pieces.

of course there are exceptions…

The versatility of the piano places high technical demands (fortunately and unfortunately).

There are some cool Stravinsky transcriptions, for example Agosti’s Firebird suite. This one is wicked too:

Igor Stravinsky (arr Arthur Lourié) - Octet for Winds
(Benedikt Koehlen, piano) … t.mp3.html

i still place da Ziff’z Brahms Hung Dance 5 (da 1zt verzion) az one of da mozt effective and cleverly written tranz evah

and iv u lizten to da ziff’z own recording, tiz iz not intended to be a showpiece

Yeah, someone in my studio (Paul Schenly) performed that firebird suite; it was incredible, except that it only included what… 3 movements or something.

The selection Agosti made feels very awkward if performed as a suite. The finale of the Firebird is the probably most finale-like piece piece ever composed -literally an apotheose- It feels strange when it’s preceded only by the Danse Infernale or the Berceuse.

Have you seen the Piemontesi video of the three Firebird pieces on youtube? It’s even amazing to watch without sound. 8)

Danse Infernale

Berceuse & Finale