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Nikolai Lugansky|Richard Wagner: Famous Opera Scenes

Richard Wagner: Famous Opera Scenes

Nikolai Lugansky

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It shouldn't take listeners long to get over the novelty of hearing Wagner on the piano. After all, piano transcriptions were the primary way opera, in general, and Wagner specifically, were spread around Europe in the 19th century, and the composer's primary champion in this medium was none other than the greatest pianist of the age, Franz Liszt. Liszt's own transcription of the Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde is the pièce de résistance on this release by pianist Nikolai Lugansky; it is not terribly often played, and it has lost none of its imposing scope over the decades. Lugansky leads up to this with transcriptions by Louis Brassin, upon which Lugansky has elaborated, and with a quartet of transcriptions from Götterdämmerung that come from his own hand. These are quite artfully done, incorporating the familiar leitmotifs of the Ring cycle while filling them in with technically fearsome connective tissue. Lugansky has done nothing less than put the listener in the place of an audience that might have heard Liszt play Wagner in the composer's own day, and ideal sound from the small Scuola della Carità reproduces the aristocratic Paris salons where Liszt would often have held forth. A bold, fresh release from Lugansky that made classical best-seller lists in early 2024.

© James Manheim /TiVo

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Richard Wagner: Famous Opera Scenes

Nikolai Lugansky

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1
Das Rheingold, WWV 86A: Einzug der Götter in Walhall (Arr. for Piano by Louis Brassin & Nikolai Lugansky)
00:07:30

Richard Wagner, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, Arranger, Piano, MainArtist - Louis Brassin, Arranger

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

2
Die Walküre, WWV 86B: Feuerzauber (Arr. for Piano by Louis Brassin)
00:04:28

Richard Wagner, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, Piano, MainArtist - Louis Brassin, Arranger

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

3
Götterdämmerung, WWV 86D (Arr. for Piano by Nikolai Lugansky): Zu neuen Taten, teurer Helde. Liebesduett von Brünnhilde und Siegfried
00:07:30

Richard Wagner, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, Arranger, Piano, MainArtist

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

4
Götterdämmerung, WWV 86D (Arr. for Piano by Nikolai Lugansky): Siegfrieds Rheinfahrt
00:05:22

Richard Wagner, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, Arranger, Piano, MainArtist

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

5
Götterdämmerung, WWV 86D (Arr. for Piano by Nikolai Lugansky): Siegfrieds Trauermarsch
00:09:04

Richard Wagner, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, Arranger, Piano, MainArtist

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

6
Götterdämmerung, WWV 86D (Arr. for Piano by Nikolai Lugansky): Brünnhildes Schlussgesang
00:06:27

Richard Wagner, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, Arranger, Piano, MainArtist

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

7
Parsifal, WWV 111: Verwandlungsmusik & Schluss-Szene (Arr. for Piano by Felix Mottl, Nikolai Lugansky & Zoltán Kocsis)
00:13:11

Richard Wagner, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, Arranger, Piano, MainArtist - Zoltán Kocsis, Arranger - Felix Mottl, Arranger

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

8
Tristan und Isolde, WWV 90: Isoldens Liebestod aus Tristan und Isolde, S. 447 (Arr. for Piano by Franz Liszt)
00:07:21

Richard Wagner, Composer - Nikolai Lugansky, Piano, MainArtist - Franz Lizst, Arranger

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

Album review

It shouldn't take listeners long to get over the novelty of hearing Wagner on the piano. After all, piano transcriptions were the primary way opera, in general, and Wagner specifically, were spread around Europe in the 19th century, and the composer's primary champion in this medium was none other than the greatest pianist of the age, Franz Liszt. Liszt's own transcription of the Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde is the pièce de résistance on this release by pianist Nikolai Lugansky; it is not terribly often played, and it has lost none of its imposing scope over the decades. Lugansky leads up to this with transcriptions by Louis Brassin, upon which Lugansky has elaborated, and with a quartet of transcriptions from Götterdämmerung that come from his own hand. These are quite artfully done, incorporating the familiar leitmotifs of the Ring cycle while filling them in with technically fearsome connective tissue. Lugansky has done nothing less than put the listener in the place of an audience that might have heard Liszt play Wagner in the composer's own day, and ideal sound from the small Scuola della Carità reproduces the aristocratic Paris salons where Liszt would often have held forth. A bold, fresh release from Lugansky that made classical best-seller lists in early 2024.

© James Manheim /TiVo

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