RCA Victor Cover Art
(back cover is autographed)

RCA/Artistique Cover Art

Forgotten Records fr-999

RCA/Sony Classical Box Set
Sony 88985470142 (CD1)

RCA Victor LSC-2145 (Stereo - possibly never released in stereo)
RCA Victor
LM-2145 (Mono) (US)
RCA Victor RB-16046 (Mono) (UK)
Artistique 630 493 (Mono) (France)
Forgotten Records fr-999 (CD) (Click Here for purchase information)
RCA/Sony Classical 88985470142 (CD box set, CD1)

Ravel - Gaspard de la Nuit
Prokofiev - Visions Fugitive

Music / MP3
Ravel - Gaspard de la Nuit

0. Complete / 00_gaspard_de_la_nuit_complete.mp3
1. Ondine / 01_gaspard_de_la_nuit_ondine.mp3
2. Le Gibet / 02_gaspard_de_la_nuit_le_gibet.mp3
3. Scarbo / 03_gaspard_de_la_nuit_scarbo.mp3

Prokofiev - Visions Fugitives

0. Complete / 00_visions_fugitive_complete.mp3
1. Lentamente / 01_visions_fugitives_lentamente.mp3
2. Andante / 02_visions_fugitives_andante.mp3
3. Allegretto / 03_visions_fugitives_allegretto.mp3
4. Animato / 04_visions_fugitives_animato.mp3
5. Molto Giocoso / 05_visions_fugitives_molto_giocoso.mp3
6. Con Eleganza / 06_visions_fugitives_con_eleganza.mp3
7. Pittoresco / 07_visions_fugitives_pittoresco.mp3
8. Commodo / 08_visions_fugitives_commodo.mp3
9. Allegro Tranquillo / 09_visions_fugitives_allegro_tranquillo.mp3
10. Ridicolosamente / 10_visions_fugitives_ridicolosamente.mp3
11. Con Vivacita / 11_visions_fugitives_con_vivacita.mp3
12. Assai Moderato / 12_visions_fugitives_assai_moderato.mp3
13. Allegretto / 13_visions_fugitives_allegretto.mp3
14. Feroce / 14_visions_fugitives_feroce.mp3
15. Inquieto / 15_visions_fugitives_inquieto.mp3
16. Dolente / 16_visions_fugitives_dolente.mp3
17. Poetico / 17_visions_fugitives_poetico.mp3
18. Con Una Dolce Lentezza / 18_visions_fugitives_dolce_lentezza.mp3
19. Presto Agitaissimo / 19_visions_fugitives_presto_agitaissimo.mp3
20. Lento Irrealmente / 20_visions_fugitives_lento_irrealmente.mp3

Review on MusicWeb International Website (October 2014)
A review of the CD reissue of this record by Forgotten Records (fr-999) appeared on the MusicWeb International website on October 9, 2014. Written by Stephen Greenbank, this review includes: "Tchaikowsky summons up all of his resources to deliver a performance of epic proportions. He gets to the very heart of each of the three pieces of this triptych. Ondine is mischievous and seductive. In Le Gibet he evokes an atmosphere of menace and suspense. There a real feeling of portent about the whole thing. Scarbo has energy, drive and vigour, all achieved with superb technical command." Read More.

Review from High Fidelity magazine (December 1957)
André Tchaikowsky, who made his American debut with the New York Philharmonic last October, comes to this country as first medalist of the Paris Conservatoire (1950), a prizewinner in the 1956 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, and bearer of the seal of approval of Artur Rubinstein ("He is a wonderful musician"). Tchaikowsky is a Polish-born boy who escaped to Paris during the war, returned to Warsaw in 1945 [editor: this is not true - André never left Poland during the war], and has recently started his concert career. This recording was made in Paris. I am not too happy with it, and could name a good dozen pianists in America alone who could do better work. On the basis of this disc, Tchaikowsky impresses me as a thumper who has a good way to go before he can assume the responsibilities of real artistry.

His is a muscular, hard style of playing that lacks repose; and while he seems to have a respectable technique, it is not really on a big order. In the Ravel cycle of three pieces, he plays Ondine as though it were bard water and fissionable. It would be cruel to compare his performance with Gieseking's; and yet a record is a permanent document that invites comparison of this sort. Tchaikowsky does not begin to show an equivalent feeling for color and nuance. He captures little of the mood of Le Gibet, and in the concluding Scarbo he blithely ignores most of Ravel's carefully written dynamic indications. An especially glaring instance concerns the long trill on C in the bass, about three-quarters through the work, where Ravel has written a triple pianissimo, which Tchaikowsky simply bangs out.

Recording Date(s):
June 4, 1957

Recording Location:
Paris, France (Salle Wagram)

Release Date:
October, 1957

Known Details:
André performed the Ravel work during his prize-winning playing at the 1956 Queen Elizabeth Piano Competition, where he received 3rd prize. This was the famous ABC competition where the prize winners were Vladimir Ashkenazy (Russia), John Browning (USA), and Andrzej Czajkowski (Poland) [soon after, Westernized to André Tchaikowsky]. After playing the Ravel at the competition, music critic Jacques Stehman reported:

"Andrzej Czajkowski, Polish, 20 years old, owns a considerable talent for this age, as a pianist and as a musician. As in the first elimination, his playing can be, at the wrong time, abrupt and brutish, but he is still a gifted performer understanding with deep awareness the pieces he plays, and making a glowing, natural, and suggestive interpretation. He remains a convincing performer. Ravel's "Scarbo," despite some confused and awkward passages, showed he knew how to interpret the heat, the colors, and the sarcastic spirit wanted by Ravel. One cannot be perfect and Mr. Czajkowski doesn't entirely have his playing under control, but he has eloquence, vitality, and sure musical instinct."

It was critical for RCA to have this recording ready for the market in October, 1957 to coincide with André's debut concert in New York City, thus, RCA came to Paris to record André in June of 1957. André's cousin, Charles Fortier, remembers:

"André made a recording for RCA in Paris during 1957. This was a piano recital recording. RCA rented the Salle Wagram for a recording on a Sunday [June 2nd]. The piano was tuned, the technicians were ready, and everything was set for the recording. Sunday came, and no André. He skipped the recording session and went swimming. He called them that he was sick. Monday, the same thing happened and André didn't show up. On Tuesday morning, RCA sent a doctor to Mala's apartment [where André was living - Mala was the sister of André grandmother Celina, and Mala is Charles Fortier's mother] to see how sick André was. With this development, André felt much better and made the recording that afternoon.

"There were many problems during the recording session as André would start to play, but then they would have to stop him and adjust the microphones. They kept asking him to start over. This annoyed André greatly because they made it seem like he was supposed to be able to be creative under such conditions. The recording didn't go well, and it bothered André that they were going to edit all the tapes to make a single good recording. But the RCA producer [Peter Dellheim] was patient with André and should be given a lot of credit that the recording was even made."

This recording was released in October, 1957, and reviewed by a number of publications, including the American magazine, the Saturday Review.

As the citation of the repertory will suggest, there is more to be learned from this disk about the fingers than the heart of the young pianist whose American debut occurs concurrently with the release of his first recording. Particularly, insofar as "Gaspard de la Nuit" is concerned, the fingers have to be capable of delicacy as well as incisiveness, finesse as well as force. It is the revelation of this excellent recording from France that a pianist of major power has come to join the ranks of those who really count.

I wouldn't say that Tchaikowsky gets as much out of "Le Gibet" as this mystical, moody piece contains, but if he did, now, what would be the challenge for the future? He demonstrates, however, every latent capacity for matching that challenge in the future. As for the "Visions Fugitives," they are articulated within a whisper of their sharp-edged contours, and with a certain driving intensity of style not unlike that of Horowitz himself. Certainly, this "Scarbo" shows that he is no cautious precisionist, but a really daring young man on the pianistic trapeze.

In a letter to a friend in Poland, André wrote:

"I'm going to send to you my first record, Ravel's 'Gaspard de le Nuit' and Profofiev's 'Visions Fusitives.' The record is only passable, but there's a rather good photograph of me on the cover. My 'Le Gibet' and 'Scarbo' were very good; only 'Ondine' seems somewhat old, wrinkled, chaste and boring. She lacks femininity. Such an 'Ondine' amounts to a confession on my part." [Ondine is a German mythological water nymph who caused a mortal to fall tragically in love with her.]

Later that year, in December, 1957, André recorded Bach's "Goldberg Variations" for RCA but it was never released. A hint of the recording difficulties show up on the master tape: 87 individual takes. André eventually recorded in 1964 the Goldberg Variations for Columbia Records.