Eric Himy

Eric Himy - The Art of the Transcription for Piano

The art of transcription - of recasting music, more or less literally, from one performance medium into another - has been a common practice for a long time. A good transcription (or a paraphrase) tests the abilities and the imagination of the transcriber as much as the creation of an original composition. Trying to maintain the distinct characteristics of a given work, while meeting the demands of a new medium, are not always easily achieved. But in a world where

The pursuit of stylistic authenticity has become the performance ideal, transcriptions and paraphrases have often been frowned upon by purists as tamperings or sacrilegious alterations with the purity of the composer’s original

With this attitude, regrettably, the transcription as a valid form of artistic expression and comment upon another’s work has sometimes been discounted and even neglected. Liszt was the most prolific of transcribers and audiences were not only entertained but they also had the chance to hear music they might otherwise never have encountered. His famous Tristan Liebestod transcription reached audiences before Wagner’s Opera did!

1. Mozart/Liszt    Fantasy on Don Juan16:20
2. Gluck/Sgambati    Melody from Orfeo 3:51
Chopin/Liszt - Four Polish Songs:
3. The Maiden's Wish 3:32
4. Springtime 2:39
5. Little Cradle 1:52
6. My Joys 4:13
7. Säint-Saens/Horowitz Danse Macabre 8:07
8. Delibes/Himy "Viens Malika" from Lakme 5:22
9. Chopin/Michalowski-Rosenthal (arr. Himy) Waltz opus 64 (minute waltz) 1:03
10. Ravel/Dusmenil Pièce en forme d'Habanera 2:57
11. Bizet/Horowitz    Carmen Variations 3:33
12. Albeniz/Godowsky    Tango 3:09
De Falla (arr. by composer) El Amor Brujo (The Sorcerer's Love)
13. Scene - Song of the Will-o'-Wisps 2:32
14. The Ghost - Dance of Terror 2:11
15. The Magic Circle (The Fisherman's song) 1:59
16. Midnight - Ritual Fire Dance 4:10
17. Haendel/Kempff Minuet in g minor from Suite no. 1 3:15

Recorded in France in 1992. Steinway piano
Eric Himy’s Photo: Christian Steiner