André Tchaikowsky reissues on RCA

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Lance
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André Tchaikowsky reissues on RCA

Post by Lance » Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:14 pm

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RCA Red Seal 47014, 4-CDs, (Complete issued RCA Victor Recordings)
"Playing that made you think."

André Tchaikowsky [note spelling] [1935-1982] is the young pianist whom Artur Rubinstein hailed "one of the finest pianists of his generation." Kind of a sad story about Tchaikowsky, whose real name was Robert Andrezj Krauthammer, a Polish Jew born in Warsaw in 1935) who was subject to all that was going on during World War II, which no doubt caused him considerable mental pain during his brief lifetime. While he escaped the Warsaw ghetto with his grandmother's help, his mother killed in Treblinka just a short time after he escaped, according to the excellent notes in the booklet provided by Anastasia Belina in 2017. This kind of life caused him to "develop a number of character traits present in his adult persona, one of which was the desire to cause sensation by saying controversial and often shocking things — which on many occasions, particularly at the start of his concert career — alienated his agents and promoters. He also had a pathological need for acceptance and love, and punished those who he thought did not show it to the expected degree."

This is the first time his debut recording (in mono only, stereo tapes were lost) has been issueed on CD. If you have this and a group of about five recordings he made for EMI Records later to appear on Dante (in France), you have about as much as one can have of his commercial recordings.

The booklet notes that other recordings were made for RCA that they state was "not fit for release," such as 87 takes of Bach's Goldberg Variations, music by Prokofiev, Szymanowski, Mozart (3 sonatas), Chopin Preludes and Mazurkas and Scarlatti sonatas all recorded between 1957 and 1959.

Pianophiles will love to have this edition IMHO. His story is very interesting. At age 46, when he died, he left his skull to the Royal Shakespeare Company "to use in theatrical performances." The skull was used during some performances, however, those in attendance did not appreciate seeing a real skull and presenters stopped using it.

He did not like America, and in fact, didn't like much and fussed constantly with conductors and orchestras if things did not go his way. I cannot imagine Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra putting up with such behaviour, but he did make some recordings with Reiner. ♫
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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John F
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Re: André Tchaikowsky reissues on RCA

Post by John F » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:00 am

Lance wrote: The skull was used during some performances
Specifically, it was used as the jester Yorick's skull in quite a few performances of "Hamlet." Tchaikowsky himself was anything but a jester, so maybe he was thinking ironically.
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Lance
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Re: André Tchaikowsky reissues on RCA

Post by Lance » Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:53 pm

Today I just received two publications about André Tchaikowsky:

[1] "My Guardian Demon: Letters of André Tchaikowsky and Halina Janowska, 1956-1982" published by Smith-Gordon.
[2] "A Musician Divided: André Tchaikowsky in his Own Words" Edited by Anastasia Belina-Johnson. Foreword by David Pountney [Toccata Press published this and it includes a CD of him talking.]

I didn't realize Tchaikowsky was gay and was trying to simiultaneously have a relationship with Halina Janowska with whom he wanted to have a son. Theirs was a love/hate relationship and she ended it. Their letters are often explicit and do not leave much for the imagination. Apparently his life was very disorganized in so many ways it affected his total living and professional career. He writes a whole part on his final illness and the pain he suffered. An intense man for sure. My copies came from England. Tchaikowsky spent a lot of time in Australia and loved it there.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

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