Franz Liszt

Polonaise aus der Opera Eugene Onegin, for piano, S. 429 (LW A293) (after Tchaikovsky)

    Description by Robert Cummings

    After Liszt attended a performance of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin (1878 -- 1879), he fashioned this work from the opening number of the opera's third act. Clearly, this Polonaise harkens back to an earlier period of keyboard flamboyance and personal optimism. It is a bit surprising, then, that Liszt would write this kind of festive, glittering music since by 1879, his style had turned somber and introverted. The composer was content with meditations on religious subjects and on death, his writing growing sparser and less colorful. This work is less one of transcription and more one of fantasy, and exhibits far more of Liszt's style than of Tchaikovsky's. In fact, this work divulges a bit of Chopin, not least because of his association with the Polonaise form. The Tchaikovsky Polonaise begins with a brass fanfare, after which surging strings lead to the dance theme. Here, Liszt begins with a similar fanfare, but the music leading to the Polonaise is somewhat different. Liszt's treatment of the theme is close to Tchaikovsky's, but thereafter he fashions an imaginative takeoff, generally maintaining the festive mood. The Liszt Polonaise lasts around six minutes, while Tchaikovsky's is about two minutes shorter.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2013 Fim / First Impressions 87
    2012 Naxos 8572432
    2009 EMI Classics 13251
    2006 Nireo 7
    2005 EMI Music Distribution 586522-2
    2005 MSR Classics 1131
    2000 Arkadia Jazz / Postcards POSTCARDS 7720012
    1999 Philips 462232
    1999 Philips 456802
    1998 Hungaroton 12767
    1997 Philips 456 052-2PM2
    1993 London 436736
    1992 EMI Music Distribution 67366
    1992 Vox 5047
    1990 Hyperion CDA66371/2
    Arlecchino 141
    Musical Heritage Society 525485
    Accord 220332
    Nimbus 5115
    Golden String 14