It is a mystery to the present writer that no-one sees fit to revive Glinka’s marvellous Russlan
. Although the overture has been a war-horse in its time, there is much more to the opera than that. The march of the wicked dwarf Chernomor (literally Black Plague!) attracted Liszt from the beginning. He made two versions for piano—the superior revised version is played here—and one for piano duet, each with slightly different endings, because in the original the March breaks off very abruptly.
from notes by Leslie Howard © 1990