Grainger’s first venture into transcription, his Paraphrase on Tchaikovsky’s Flower Waltz
received its first public performance at his debut solo recital in London’s Steinway Hall on 29 October 1901. The arrangement is dedicated to the French piano virtuoso and composer, Léon Delafosse, who popularized it in France and who was later to dedicate some of his own preludes to Grainger. The published edition appeared in 1904 after some revision, and is unique in incorporating Grainger’s first use of his idiosyncratic English instead of the usual Italian musical directions—a practice he was later to adopt in most of his scores. Within the structure of this exciting and flamboyant paraphrase, based on one of the most enduring of Tchaikovsky’s melodies, the element of original composition is manifest. From the outset we are propelled along on a tide of virtuosic passagework, culminating in a highly florid cadenza and a clattering apotheosis.
from notes by Barry Peter Ould © 2002