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.
Description by Robert Cummings
|2013||Fim / First Impressions||87|
|2005||EMI Music Distribution||586522-2|
|2000||Arkadia Jazz / Postcards||POSTCARDS 7720012|
|1992||EMI Music Distribution||67366|
|Musical Heritage Society||525485|