Metamorphoses: the Art of the Virtuoso Piano Transcription

Rian de Waal

    Research output: Book/ReportBookProfessional


    Rian de Waal (1958-2011) has written a book about the piano, and how the development of piano playing has been very much dependent upon musicians who were able to cross borders. In Metamorphoses, the Art of the Virtuoso Piano Transcription, De Waal takes us on a journey through the capricious history of the piano transcription. At first revered by musicians and audience alike (and often the sole reason for the great fame of some pianists), the piano transcription later became despised and considered unnecessary, superficial, or even heretical. The fact that the piano transcription has survived such fierce resistance has very much to do with the special qualities of the piano as a musical instrument. De Waal like no one else is able to explain these qualities, and he brings them to the fore with verve and tenderness on the six CDs accompanying this book.
    Describing some remarkable moments in musical history, De Waal presents a candid overview of the historical developments surrounding the piano transcription. He explains how the genre fell from acclaim into disrepute, and lately seems to regain the rightful respect it deserves. But more than this, he provides deep-felt musical insight into what matters most: why are some piano transcriptions so good, and how do man and machine act together to make this so? The theme of the book is the piano transcription, but Metamorphoses is equally about change, possession, perception, respect, genius, transcendence, and ultimately, about human dignity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationDelft
    PublisherEburon Academic Publishers
    Number of pages309
    ISBN (Print)978-90-5972-755-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • pianomusic
    • performance
    • transcription


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