How to Make an Opera Aria Sing on the Piano

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

On this edition of Reflections from the Keyboard, David Dubal digs deeper to unpack several more operatic transcriptions for the piano.

Some pianists know a good opera when they hear it and jump on the chance to transcribe it to the keyboard. The ones successful at it have written resourceful paraphrases, sensitive to vocal tessitura, striving to give the translated fragments a sense of nostalgia.

Gliding in and out of orchestrations, these transcriptions highlight some underplayed paraphrases and transcriptions of melodies from a few known as well as unknown operas. These interpretations allow the hands to saunter and ramble, or carry note-for-note melodic lines around the keyboard.

Among the examples heard today are versions by Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Henri Herz and others.

 

Playlist

Gaetano Donizetti/Franz Liszt:

Réminiscences de "Lucia di Lammermoor"

Jorge Bolet

Philips

 

 

Percy Grainger/Richard Strauss:

Ramble on the last love-duet from Der Rosenkavalier

William Chen

Hurstwood Farm Music

 

 

Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov/Rachmaninoff:

The Flight of the Bumblebee

Sergei Rachmaninoff

Philips

 

 

Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov/Rachmaninoff:

The Flight of the Bumblebee

Earl Wild

Philips

 

 

Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov/Rachmaninoff:

The Flight of the Bumblebee

Jorge Bolet

Philips

 

 

Gioachino Rossini/Henri Herz:

Variations on "Non piu mesta" from La Cenerentola

Earl Wild

Philips

 

 

Giovanni Sgambati/Christoph Willibald Gluck:

Melody from Gluck's Orfeo

David Dubal

ArchivMusic

 

 

Franz Liszt/Gaetano Donizetti:

Valse de Concert sur deux motifs de "Lucia et Parisina"

Louis Kentner

Vox Legends

 

 

Moriz Rosenthal/Johan Strauss:

Carnaval de Vienne (Humoresque on Themes by Strauss)

Stanley Waldoff

ArchivMusic

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Comments [3]

Mim Eisenberg from Roswell, GA

I cannot get the audio to play.

Oct. 25 2013 09:49 AM
Silversalty from Brooklyn

No web audio. Link is bad or file isn't there.

Oct. 24 2013 10:39 PM
Sanford Rothenberg from Brooklyn

Piano transcriptions of operatic material have long been regarded as crowd pleasers.Liszt was a towering figure in this genre,along with his great contemporary Sigismund Thalberg.Chopin's treatment of "La Ci Darem" is also a noteworthy effort.

Oct. 24 2013 12:50 AM

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