Symphony Movements and Hungarian Dances
Max Reger, Theodor Kirchner and Johannes Brahms

Johannes Brahms, Johannes Brahms-Kirchner, Johannes Brahms-Reger, Christoph Willibald Gluck-Brahms, Robert Schumann-Brahms


World Premiere Recordings



"These transcriptions receive their first recordings, and prove to be ‘utterly listenable’ in the cultivated hands of the Israeli-born American-based pianist Uriel Tsachor... He takes the First Symphony second movement’s sostenuto directive to heart, spinning out the long lines with tonal amplitude and a burnished legato... Tsachor channels his considerable technique towards poetic and whimsical ends [in the Hungarian Dances]... [This is an] enchanting and intelligently programmed release."
Jed Distler, Gramophone [January 2020]
"Uriel Tsachor's recent piano solo album Brahms in Transcription gives us much to experience and contemplate... For pianist Uriel Tsachor this recording is a culmination of a 40-year romance with the music of Brahms. And it shows. The performances are very sympathetic, poetically sensitive to every nuance, emotive but judicious in the proper weighing of every note... Really, all are transcendent, a joy to hear... the encore-like additions of the two short examples of Brahms' transcriptions of some choice Schumann and Gluck morsels leave one feeling content and rewarded... Anyone who loves Brahms and also loves a nicely played piano program a little off the well-beaten track should find this a good bet. Uriel Tsachor gives us state-of-the-art expressive brightness from first-to-last. Bravo."
Gapplegate Music Review [January 2020]
"Uriel Tsachor performs these ingenious pieces with a poetic brilliance that is consistently arresting, and the remarkable expressiveness of these works is brought out with great sensitivity and committed musicianship. This is a memorable issue, in clear sound and splendid presentation that should charm piano lovers in particular."
Gerald Fenech, Classical Music Daily [January 2020]
“[The featured works] in and of themselves show Brahms’ skill both as composer and as transcriber – and he was, after all, a considerable pianist, with thoroughgoing knowledge of the instrument’s expressive capabilities... Kirchner’s [transcriptions of Hungarian Dances 15-17] and are all worthy to stand alongside Brahms’ own transcriptions for their sure command of the rhythmic material and their virtuosic but not too virtuosic demands on the performer. Tsachor plays all the dance transcriptions, the two by Brahms and three by Kirchner, with considerable élan and a fine sense of style – and even seems to have more than a bit of fun with the balance and color of the compositions... The virtuosic requirements here lie as much in balance and tonal expression as in handling a sheer proliferation of notes, and Tsachor’s admirable restraint, subtle understanding of the material, and great sensitivity to balance and tonal color, result in performances that are genuinely revelatory – of the art of excellent transcription, if not so much of the underlying art of music that is now, after all, quite familiar in its original form. The CD comes across as a tribute not only to Brahms but also to Reger and Kirchner, who handled these transcriptions with a substantial depth of knowledge and finely tuned (pun intended) sensitivity to Brahms’ intentions and the unique sound of his music.”
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [January 2020]
“Tsachor, an outstandingly gifted pianist, makes each note sum to a mesmerizing, poetic whole as he plays the dozen pieces that comprise 'Brahms in Transcription'... As it is for a writer to make each word count, Tsachor does the same with the notes of these compositions, while he instantly grasps how each of each of them should best sound as part of the whole... The effect of his playing is stunning as the recording shifts by turns from excepts from [Brahms symphonies and Hungarian Rhapsodies]... The overall effect of Tsachor’s pianism is so intense repeated listening may be beneficial to gain a full appreciation of what the transcribers, including Brahms himself, have achieved... To say that the Hungarian Rhapsodies for two hands are challenging even for a virtuoso pianist may be an understatement; however, Tsachor renders their scores clearly and precisely, not obviously put upon by any difficulty even if he is required to use his two hands as if they were three... The Brahms transcription CD is so potent with beauty it is capable of entrancing even a person with no knowledge of classical music.”
Joel C. Thompson, Cherry Grove Music Review [January 2020]
“Each of the five csárdás-flavored Hungarian Dances contribute an independent spirit, and M. Tsachor beelines, then tackles with spicy diction. All of them have clean intimacy though some are boldly-driven while others move along more passively. The Hungarian Dance n° 7 is one delightfully teased dialogue, though it’s fleeting, indeed! ‘Directness and honesty’ can be said about Tsachor when dwelling upon Brahms’ symphonic movements. They sing on varying levels of emotion: from the classical, dignified bracket of Symphony n° 2’s “Adagio non troppo” to the pondering gravity of the readily-identifiable “Poco Allegretto” from Symphony n° 3, M. Tsachor shows his unbreakable love for the Romantic in absolutes. Not only did Brahms rely on contemporaries to re-design his music, he also assumed those duties when it came to Robert Schumann and Christoph Willibald Gluck. These writings have an abundance of beauty and candor.
Schumann’s Piano Quintet is a distillation which has more compartmented density... A virtuosic pleaser, Tsachor has deft nimbleness, and he flickers unabashedly throughout. Suave turns upon each note, Tsachor regales in Gluck’s passage with an ultimate treatment of crystalline glamour. The moment is like shimmering diamonds refracting in the sun... Tsachor’s depiction of Brahms, front and back, will leave the listener with an enchanted feeling. Brilliantly thought-out with intelligence and grace.”
Christie Grimstad, ConcertoNet [January 2020]
“glittering brilliance”
The New York Times
“A musician who pursues piano playing as a vehicle for musical poetry”
Süddeutschezeitung, Munich
“A pianist of great sensitivity and perfect musicianship”
Diapason, Paris
This album stems from my 40-year love-affair with the music of Johannes Brahms. My deep admiration of his work has driven me to delve into the profound musical relationships that existed between him and his contemporaries – and with the musicians of following generations. These relationships were manifest in several ways, including the performing and conducting of another’s works, and the sharing of extensive correspondence that included analysis, encouragement and criticism. A particularly interesting manifestation was the continuance of the 19th century tradition of the piano transcription, where colleagues worked with their own music as well as with the work of others. These recordings focus on several of the most notable of these solo piano transcriptions.

Uriel Tsachor is an internationally active soloist and chamber musician known for his powerful expression and compelling sensitivity. Tsachor has appeared in recitals in New York, Chicago, Tel-Aviv, Brussels, Vienna, Paris, London, Milan and other cities around the world, winning acclaim from critics and audiences. Invited by Maestro Zubin Mehta to perform with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, he has also played with all of the Major orchestras in Israel as well as several prestigious European orchestras, drawing upon his repertoire of more than 25 concertos. Since his Lincoln Center debut with the New York City Symphony, Tsachor has been performing throughout the United States as recitalist, chamber musician and soloist with orchestra. During the last seasons, Tsachor’s performances included Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonata as well as Major works by Schumann and Brahms. He has also toured Taiwan as recitalist and performed in Major halls such as Salle Gaveau, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Palais des Beaux Arts and Avery Fisher Hall. He is a winner of the Bösendorfer-Empire Concours and the Concorso Busoni, and a laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. Tsachor has recorded numerous programs for radio and television stations in the United States, Israel and several countries in Europe. As a prolific recording artist, his discography encompasses 22 albums on the EMI, Musical Heritage Society, Phonic, Discover, Divox and EMS labels, and includes the Brahms’ Piano Concertos Nos.1 and 2 and solo works by Bartók, Beethoven, Dvorák, Mendelssohn and Schumann. One of Tsachor’s Schumann releases received Swiss Radio International’s Exceptional Production award, and was distributed to more than 800 radio stations worldwide. The same album was mentioned in an article in International Piano magazine discussing the “milestones in the recorded history of the work”, citing the importance of the recording alongside those of Rudolf Serkin, Arthur Schnabel and Artur Rubinstein. Uriel Tsachor’s chamber music albums include cello and piano sonatas by Barber, Schnittke and Britten (EMS) and violin and piano sonatas by Schumann, Reger and Strauss (Olympia). Also with violinist Andrew Hardy, Tsachor recorded Brahms’ complete violin and piano sonatas (Calliope) and a 4-CD set of sonatas by various composers dedicated to Eugène Ysaÿe (Musique en Wallonie). A dedicated pedagogue, he maintains a large and diverse teaching studio at the University of Iowa School of Music. A graduate of the Tel-Aviv Rubin Academy and the Juilliard School, where he earned his doctorate, Uriel Tsachor is a Steinway artist. [ www.urieltsachor.com ]
Recorded 7-10 July 2019 in the Concert Hall, Voxman Music Building, University of Iowa. Produced and edited by Ronald Lau. Recorded, engineered and mastered by James Edel.
Piano transcription: Max Reger (1873-1916)
SYMPHONY NO.1 in C minor, Op.68 – II. Andante sostenuto

Piano transcription: Theodor Kirchner (1820-1903)
HUNGARIAN DANCE NO.15 in B-flat major, WoO 1

Piano transcription: Max Reger
SYMPHONY NO.2 in D major, Op.73 – II. Adagio non troppo

Piano transcription: Theodor Kirchner
HUNGARIAN DANCE NO.17 in F-sharp major, WoO 1

Piano transcription: Max Reger
SYMPHONY NO.3 in F major, Op.90 – II. Andante

Piano transcription: Theodor Kirchner
HUNGARIAN DANCE NO.16 in F minor, WoO 1

Piano transcription: Max Reger
SYMPHONY NO.3 in F major, Op.90 – III. Poco Allegretto

Piano transcription: Johannes Brahms
HUNGARIAN DANCE NO.7 in F major, WoO 1

Piano transcription: Max Reger
SYMPHONY NO.4 in E minor, Op.98 – II. Andante moderato

Piano transcription: Johannes Brahms
HUNGARIAN DANCE NO.1 in G minor, WoO 1

Piano transcription: Johannes Brahms
PIANO QUINTET in E-flat major, Op.44 – III. Scherzo

Piano transcription: Johannes Brahms
GAVOTTE from Iphigénie en Aulide

MSR Classics