Valentina Lisitsa

Tchaikovsky: The Complete Solo Piano Works

  • AllMusic Rating
    7
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Whatever one thinks of her playing, it's clear pianist Valentina Lisitsa deserves everyone's thanks for showing that there is nothing wrong with the state of classical music, only with the way it is presented: views of her YouTube performance videos number in the tens of millions. Lisitsa has been able to parlay that popularity into a more conventional career, but for a pianist who has built her reputation on internet moments to essay something like the complete solo piano works of Tchaikovsky, covering ten CDs (about 11 hours of music in total) is unorthodox, or gutsy perhaps. As it happens, Lisitsa will probably find buyers. She records every scrap of music Tchaikovsky ever wrote for the piano, including an unfinished student work, a set of 50 folk song arrangements for piano four hands (recorded with Lisitsa's personal and artistic partner Alexei Kuznetsoff), an operatic potpourri, juvenilia, and a huge assortment of occasional short pieces. These are, as annotator Philip Ross Bullock concedes, of varying quality, but there is something catchy about them more often than not. Sample, for instance, the Volunteer Fleet March, from the "Works Without Opus Numbers" disc (the album is organized thematically rather than chronologically, which makes sense). Lisitsa in the main keeps to the rather restrained style she cultivated on YouTube. You might find that a Pletnev would offer more flair and oomph in the Grand Sonata, Op. 37, and her tempi in a piece like the "June: Barcarole" can be uncomfortably slow. However, one must note that Lisitsa has learned a great deal of music, recorded almost all of it at least intelligently, and cast a valuable light on a neglected segment of Tchaikovsky's output.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Romances Op. 16
1 03:27
2 03:04
3 03:41
Six Morceaux Op. 19
4 04:35
5 03:37
6 01:33
7 05:22
8 03:30
9 00:40
10 00:32
11 00:35
12 00:25
13 00:26
14 01:05
15 00:35
16 00:58
17 00:33
18 01:01
19 01:17
20 00:40
21 00:42
22 00:49
Six Morceaux (composés sur un seul thème) Op. 21
23 02:45
24 03:24
25 02:11
26 06:24
27 04:52
28 04:21

Track Listing - Disc 5

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Children's Album Op. 39
1 01:42
2 01:23
3 01:23
4 00:36
5 00:58
6 00:29
7 03:05
8 02:13
9 01:26
10 00:47
11 01:12
12 00:30
13 01:01
14 00:26
15 01:10
16 01:20
17 01:04
18 01:05
19 01:10
20 00:38
21 02:40
22 01:15
23 02:58
24 01:13
Six Morceaux Op. 51
25 04:55
26 05:06
27 03:46
28 03:38
29 09:21
30 05:29

Track Listing - Disc 8

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 03:14
Theme with Variations in A minor
2 01:28
3 01:30
4 00:41
5 00:50
6 03:51
7 00:37
8 01:42
9 00:53
10 02:05
11 01:23
Fifty Russian Folk Songs (for Four Hands)
12 00:34
13 00:15
14 01:02
15 00:43
16 00:41
17 00:51
18 00:15
19 00:53
20 01:11
21 00:25
22 00:19
23 01:02
24 00:25
25 00:35
26 00:41
27 01:00
28 00:28
29 00:31
30 00:21
31 00:46
32 00:55
33 00:59
34 01:13
35 01:29
36 00:16
37 00:17
38 00:56
39 00:33
40 00:43
41 00:27
42 00:34
43 00:31
44 00:20
45 00:34
46 01:01
47 00:15
48 00:24
49 00:19
50 01:03
51 00:57
52 00:17
53 00:37
54 02:15
55 00:32
56 01:55
57 00:35
58 00:41
59 00:43
60 01:07
61 00:34
62 03:57
63 01:44
64 02:43
65 01:49
66 02:35
67 02:48
68 00:48
69 05:26

Track Listing - Disc 9

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
The Nutcracker Op. 71
1 02:42
2 03:33
3 02:25
4 02:12
5 05:33
6 06:55
7 06:50
8 03:20
9 04:24
10 05:52
11 04:09
12 04:50
13 01:07
14 03:03
15 00:54
16 00:57
17 02:17
18 02:32
19 07:07
20 05:42
21 00:36
22 02:27
23 01:09
24 03:34
25 01:44
blue highlight denotes track pick