Editor's Score of the Month: Saint-Saëns arr. Siloti 'The Swan'

03 February 2017
Screen-Shot-2017-02-03-at-08.04.07-14746.png The Swan
When I first heard this piece, and was utterly transfixed, I just knew I had to place it inside the magazine!

Pupil of Tchaikovsky, cousin of Rachmaninov, Alexander Siloti was prominent among the ‘Silver Age’ of Russian musicians at the turn of the last century, as a teacher, arranger and performer; he partnered Rachmaninov in the Second Piano Concerto on separate occasions as both soloist and conductor! His transcriptions of Bach and other composers are surprisingly delicate compared with his contemporaries and reflect his fastidious perfectionism: nothing is left to chance.

When I first heard a performance of this Siloti arrangement I was transfixed and immediately determined to include it within the Scores section of Pianist.

At long last, it appears inside issue 94 (the first three bars opposite, to entice you!).

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The melody should feel like it’s gliding by, just as a swan would swim across a lake.

I have not played it yet myself, but intend to do so when I have some hours free to properly learn it! It surely is not easy to play (though of course it should sound effortless...), but it’s worth persevering with, as it will surely be a crowd-pleaser.

Inside the current issue, along with the score, Lucy Parham gives a step-by-step lesson on The Swan, plus you can hear house pianist Chenyin Li perform it beautifully. Two huge incentives to get hold of this issue!

Erica Worth (Editor)