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Temirzhan Yerzhanov - Prokofiev Piano Transcriptions

American Record Guide

PROKOFIEV (trans. Prokofiev) Cinderella: 3 Pieces, Op. 97; 6 Pieces, Op. 102; Symphony No. 1, "Classical" - Temirzhan Yerzhanov (pn) CON BRIO 28454 (64:530

Prokofiev's two great ballets, Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella, contain some of his greatest music. The composer recognized this and put together four suites of solo piano pieces from them. While the single set of 10 pieces from Romeo and Juliet has justifiably become mainstream concert and recording fare, the three suites from Cinderella are not heard anywhere near as often. It is welcome to have the complete set available in such compelling performances: the Three Pieces, Op. 95, Ten Pieces, Op. 97, and Six Pieces, Op. 102.

As a reference for pianists, this is indispensable. Not only do you get short, medium and long groups of pieces, but you get 19 related pieces, from which effective encores or even your own group of pieces might be chosen. Conductors have for years been putting together their own suites from the three Prokofiev made from Romeo and Juliet.

Yerzhanov closes the program with a world premiere recording of Prokofiev's own solo piano transcription of his wonderful Classical Symphony. Since I am one of those unusual people who regularly listen to symphonic repertoire in arrangements for piano, this item was particularly welcome. While I always miss the orchestral color, I almost come away from the performances with aural knowledge of some details of harmony and/or counterpoint that I was not aware of before hearing it played on a piano. I was particularly impressed by both the arrangement and the execution of the Finale from the Symphony, with all of its repeated notes at a blistering tempo.

This is a must for collectors of Prokofiev, for it is not likely that you would have all the Cinderella Suites; and, while you might have several recordings of the Classical Symphony, you wouldn't have it in this version. Yerzhanov is a young, prize-winning, Russian conservatory-trained pianist, who now makes his home in London. He has the perfect temperament and all the technical skill to make this a worthy addition to your music library.

Harrington, American Record Guide

Fanfare Magazine

…exquisitely orchestrated Cinderella...

"[Yerzhanov] gives "Grasshoppers and Dragonflies" a delightful swagger. His gutsy "Bourée" is a pleasure, too, as is the "Passepied" (with its impressively rambunctious ending), and, at the other end of the spectrum, his sweetly luxurious "Valse lent" and his sultry, improvisatory "Summer Fairy."

"In sum, this disc can be warmly recommended to those who like to spot young talent…"

Peter J. Rabinowitz, Fanfare