A Comparative Study of Vladimir Leyetchkiss's 1985 Piano Transcription of Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps
Le Sacre du printemps
William Norman Fried
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractVladimir Leyetchkiss was a pianist, composer, and teacher born in Russia on August 8, 1934. It was Leyetchkiss’s love for transcriptions that led him to study with Heinrich Neuhaus. His passion for writing and playing piano transcriptions was fueled by his strong interest in orchestral music and conducting. His transcription work was facilitated by his impressive technique as well as his ability to produce an orchestral sound at the piano. He transcribed numerous orchestral works for the piano including Trois nocturnes by Debussy, L’Apprenti sorcier by Dukas, Tasso: Lamento et Trionfo by Liszt, symphonies of Taneyey and Prokofiev, and most notably, Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps. This study shows that Leyetchkiss’s piano transcription of Le Sacre du printemps is superior to three existing transcriptions of the same work by other composers, because of its fidelity to the original orchestral score. The three existing transcriptions are: Le Sacre du printemps for Piano Four Hands by Igor Stravinsky; The Rite of Spring: Complete Ballet for Piano Solo by Sam Raphling; “The Rite of Spring: An Original Solo Piano Transcription of Stravinsky's 1913 Ballet with Annotations and Historical Notes” by William Norman Fried. Leyetchkiss’s piano transcription not only includes as many elements and voices as possible from the orchestral score but is also practical and accessible for the performer. Studying and performing this repertoire is a rewarding process for pianistic and musical growth. A comparative analysis of these four transcriptions will follow a brief history of the development of the piano transcription (Chapter 2), and an introduction to Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps (Chapter 3). Chapter 3 includes comparison of selected passages from five representative sections of Le Sacre du printemps: “The Augurs of Spring,” “The Ritual of Abduction,” and “Dance of the Earth” from Part I and “Naming and Honoring of the Chosen One” and “Sacrificial Dance (The Chosen One)” from Part II.
Degree ProgramGraduate College