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Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
Front illustration by Donya Claire James (b?)
Track(s) taken from CDA67275
Recording details: February 2001
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: October 2001
Total duration: 3 minutes 49 seconds

Polka de W R
composer
Lachtäuben 'The little laughing dove'; originally thought to be by Vassily (Wassily) Rachmaninov
arranger
March 1911

Other recordings available for download
Howard Shelley (piano)
Simon Barere (piano)
Simon Barere (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Rachmaninov’s father Wassili (or Vassili) was a good amateur pianist (his paternal grandfather, Arkadi, had studied piano with John Field, inventor of the nocturne). Amongst Wassili’s repertoire was a simple polka which he frequently played to the amusement of his talented son. Clearly under the impression that it was a piece his father had written, Rachmaninov composed this deliciously knowing arrangement of the polka in 1911, entitling it Polka de W.R.—(W)assili (R)achmaninov—with a dedication to Leopold Godowsky.

In fact, the polka that Rachmaninov père et fils enjoyed was the Scherzpolka or Turtle Dove Polka, Op 303, by Franz Behr, many of whose numerous other salon works appeared under the pseudonyms of Georges Bachmann, William Cooper, Charles Morley and Francesco d’Orso. Though the middle (B flat) section of the Scherzpolka is not used by Rachmaninov, with Behr’s theme transposed from F major to A flat and an original counter­melody to accompany the return of the main theme, the Polka de W.R. is as much a transcription as others by Rachmaninov (Kreisler’s Liebesfreud and Liebesleid, for instance) and, as such, should properly be designated ‘Behr-Rachmaninov’.

Rachmaninov himself made one piano roll and three disc recordings of the Polka (1919, 1921 and 1928).

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2001


Other albums featuring this work
'Simon Barere – His celebrated live recordings at Carnegie Hall, Vol. 3 – 11 November 1947' (APR5623)
Simon Barere – His celebrated live recordings at Carnegie Hall, Vol. 3 – 11 November 1947
'Simon Barere – His celebrated live recordings at Carnegie Hall, Vol. 5 – Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No 2 & appendices' (APR5625)
Simon Barere – His celebrated live recordings at Carnegie Hall, Vol. 5 – Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No 2 & appendices
'Rachmaninov: The Complete Solo Piano Music' (CDS44041/8)
Rachmaninov: The Complete Solo Piano Music
MP3 £35.00FLAC £35.00ALAC £35.00 CDS44041/8  8CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Download only  
'Rachmaninov: The Transcriptions' (CDH55458)
Rachmaninov: The Transcriptions
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55458  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  

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