Romantic Transcriptions for Piano

Isaac Albeniz, Johann Sebastian Chaconne From Partita for Violin Solo No.2 in D Bach, George Gershwin, Christopf Willibald Gluck, Percy Grainger, Sergei Rachmaninov, Camille Saint-Saens, Johann Strauss

JUE WANG, piano

Solo Debut Recording



“Jue Wang has won top prizes at important competitions and this CD, which I believe to be his debut recording, attests to this young artist’s considerable talents. To say that Wang plays like a competition winner is an understatement. Technically he is simply superb, as his romp through the two—virtually unplayable—Strauss transcriptions that conclude this recording amply demonstrates. Musically too, there is much to enjoy in Wang’s performances, particularly in the improvisatory Grainger and Gershwin works, where the pianist’s cantabile and control of dynamics are quite exquisite… The quality of the recorded sound is outstanding… this is a very fine recording that is guaranteed to impress piano enthusiasts. I look forward to hearing Wang’s next recording.”
Radu A. Lelutiu, Fanfare – September/October 2012
“In a way these romantic transcriptions make the perfect debut recital: they combine the familiar with the fresh, the new with the old, and the poetic with the virtuosic. Jue Wang gets an hour-long playground to showcase his expressive talents, technical wizardry and cleverness in building a compelling program. The CD fires on all cylinders… Jue Wang is one to watch, then. He has the technique and is working on tenderness to match; he has the ability to dispatch any difficulty which we expect from any young pianist, and the ability to capture a work’s sensibility which we expect only from the best… the adventurousness of the program here is a very good sign indeed. I enjoyed this CD a great deal and am excited to see what this pianist will bring us next.”
Brian Reinhart, MusicWeb International – June 2012
"Jue Wang certainly has good fingers...he can get around the instrument with aplomb. There is much impressive playing here..."
Tim Parry, BBC Music - May 2012
“Jue Wang...shows himself to be a sensational colorist, and something more... I understand that his victory in the 2008 Santander International Piano competition in Spain carried with it the guarantee of 100 international concert bookings. From what I hear on this CD, Wang must have audiences eating from his hand around the globe by now.

Really, I haven’t heard an encore program of such utter charm and delight since the heyday of the late Shura Cherkassky (1909-1995)... Earl Wild’s transcription of Gershwin’s “Embraceable You,” surprisingly eschews the pep and the striking rhythms inherent in the original song in favor of its deeply moving, flowing lyricism. This is just the sort of food that Jue Wang loves...

Wang’s evident delight in the color and beauty of music finds ample scope in Leopold Godowsky’s concert arrangements of two moody and atmospheric favorites... Then he pulls a nifty change of pace with the lively Trish-Tratch Polka by Johann Strauss II (trans. Gyorgy Cziffra) before concluding the program with breathtaking Arabesques on The Beautiful Blue Danube (Adolf Schulz-Evler).

For the benefit of those who are inclined to dismiss a performer like Jue Wang as a mere colorist and do not realize the artistry needed to realize the sheer sensual beauty of music at its deepest level, we have Wang’s stunning account of the major work on the program, Ferruccio Busoni’s transcription of J. S. Bach’s towering Chaconne from Partita No.2. This work shows how irresistibly moving and compelling “pure” music can be as the transcription gets to the heart of the Chaconne, and of its architecture in particular, even more surely, to my way of thinking, than Bach’s original for solo violin. Wang shows himself to be continually on top of the work’s high drama and its stunning changes and counter-currents, most remarkably about the 11:00 mark, when the music suddenly gets very quiet and intimate. The volume may drop here, but, as Wang shows us, the intensity of the music and the pianist’s involvement with it, only deepen.”
Phil Muse, Audio Society of Atlanta – March 2012

“He coaxe(s) an impressive range of colors from the instrument with virtuosic and expressive ease.”
The New York Times
"Jue Wang is the most exciting young pianist yet to emerge from China."
The Independent


The piano transcription is one of the most striking and recognizable archetypes of late nineteenth century Romanticism. Mere mention of the genre elicits thoughts of a blond, caped Liszt traversing Europe in search of transcendental passion or the golden age Josef Lhevinne dazzling adoring fans with his seemingly effortless pianistic acrobatics. Despite reaching its apex in popularity toward the end of the nineteenth century, because of the intrinsic appeal of the genre, the public’s musical love affair with the piano transcription did not begin to languish until the second half of the twentieth century. As such, and in homage to both the great transcription writers and players of a bygone era, this album explores the full gamut of transcriptions, ranging from the more esoteric Abram Chasins Orfeo of the midtwentieth century to that paradigmatic bread and butter of the repertoire, the Schulz-Evler Blue Danube Arabesques.

Born in Shanghai, pianist Jue Wang has been concertizing regularly in China since the age of 10.
The First Prize and Gold Medal winner of the XVIth Santander “Paloma O’Shea” International Piano Competition in 2008, Mr. Wang is rapidly garnering attention as a gifted young performer who has already made successful debuts at New York’s Carnegie Hall and London’s Wigmore Hall, as well as many prestigious venues around the globe. Extensive concert and recital tours with more than 100 performances have been scheduled as part of the Santander award. Venues include Hannover NDR Hall in Germany, Bilbao Sociedad Filarmónica, Zaragoza Auditorio de Congresos in Spain, Salle Gaveau in Paris, Warsaw’s Penderecki and Santander’s International Festival, as well as venues in Switzerland, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Panama, Bahamas and Mexico. Concerto performances are scheduled with the Oviedo Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna
Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of New Russia and the Spanish Radio and Television, Murcia Regional, Colombia National and National Dominican Republic Symphony Orchestras. In Spain, Mr. Wang presented his Madrid debut recital at the Auditorio Nacional de Música and his Valencia concert debut at the Palau des Arts, performing with the Palau des Arts Orchestra and Maestro Zubin Mehta. He has given recitals at the Úbeda International Festival, Santander Palacio de Festivales, Klavierfestival Ruhr in Germany, Sintra International Festival in Portugal, Festival de Radio France et Montpellier, the Córdoba Rafael Orozco International Piano Festival and performed the inaugural concerts at the Badajoz Festival Ibérico and at the Oviedo International Piano Festial “Luis G. Iberni”. Mr. Wang also won First Prize at the 51st International Piano Competition María Canals in Barcelona and Third Prize at the 2nd Richter International Piano Competition in Moscow,
among many others. He received a Masters Degree in 2009 from the Shanghai Conservatory and an Artist Diploma in 2010 from the Manhattan School of Music.

PERCY GRAINGER (1882-1961)
Ramble on the Last Love-Duet in Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier

GEORGE GERSHWIN (1898-1937) | Transcribed by Percy Grainger
Love Walked In

GEORGE GERSHWIN | Concert Etude No.4 by Earl Wild
Embraceable You

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750) | Transcribed by Ferruccio Busoni
Chaconne (from Partita for Violin Solo No.2 in D minor, BWV.1004)

C. W. von GLUCK (1714-1787) | Transcribed by Abram Chasins
Melody (from Orpheus)

SERGEI RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943) | Transcribed by Zoltán Kocsis
Vocalise, Op.34, No.14

ISAAC ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909) | Concert arrangement by Leopold Godowsky
Tango in D major, Op.165, No.2

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) | Freely transcribed by Leopold Godowsky
The Swan (from Carnival of the Animals)

JOHANN STRAUSS II (1825-1899) | Transcribed by György Cziffra
Trish-Tratch Polka, Op.214

JOHANN STRAUSS II | Transcribed by Adolf Schulz-Evler
Arabesques on themes from An Der Schönen Blauen Donau

MSR Classics