- Ballade Venitienne (Barcarola) Op. 39 No. 1
- Concerto symphonique pour le piano et l'orchestre Op. 9 (Piano concerto)
- 6 Meditations Op. 19
- Hommage a Czerny - Toccata Op. 46 No. 5
- Hommage a Chopin Op. 46 No. 9
- Hommage a Schumann - Fantasiestück Op. 46 No. 8
- Impromptu "Les Deux Alouettes" Op. 2 No. 1
- Aria Op. 36 No. 1
- Souvenir d'Ischl - Valse Op. 35
- Bonus track - Theodor Leschetizky recites his artistic credo
.Rzeszów Philharmonic Orchestra,
Hubert Rutkowski (Polish, English, German)
Beautiful song, deep feeling and noble tone in this selection of Polish bonbons
The last track on this undemanding sweet-trolley of a disc is a 1907 Edison recording of Leschetizky himself declaiming his artistic credo: "... Not with scales and thirds does one win peoples' hearts, but with beautiful song, deep feeling and noble tone." It was a credo he instilled in the 1200 pupils that passed through his hands, from Friedman and Gabrilowitsch to Moiseiwitsch and Schnabel. He was said to be a loveable and charming man - two principle characteristics of his own music. Think Moszkowski, Chaminade and Rubinstein.
It needs a pianist with charm (and an impeccable technique) to bring it off, and we have one in Hubert Rutkowski, who last appeared in these pages introducing us to the music of another Polish composer, Julian Fontana. Leschetizky's music might be as Polish as pizza but it's incomparably better, whether it be his once-popular "Les deux alouettes" or the Six Meditations, any one of which would make an enchanting encore and have pianophiles in the audience scratching their heads. "Trost", the final one of the set, is an incestuous relation of the celebrated Melody in F by Leschetizky's close friend Anton Rubinstein (the lovely Aria, Op 36 No 1, is dedicated to him). Similarly, the three affectionate Hommages to Czerny, Chopin and Schumann arę effective pieces in their own right that rise above the level of pastiche.
The Piano Concerto has its full complement of scales and thirds, and is dispatched in style. It was recorded once before (Peter Ritzen on Marco Polo in 1995). There is little to choose between the two - but two are all we need. [Jeremy Nicholas, Grammophone July 2009]