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The Ideal Tchaikovsky Seasons

This week’s episode of the ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award winning program Between the Keys features Tchaikovsky’s cycle of twelve piano pieces collectively known as The Seasons (or The Months).

The Seaons originally appeared in the form of monthly installments as a supplement to the monthly theatre magazine The Novelist. Tchaikovsky responded to the commission with enthusiasm, approving all of the twelve subtitles that the publisher had suggested. Likewise, music lovers and pianists have long warmed to these lovely, tuneful and heartfelt works.

Between the Keys’ longtime creator, producer and host Jed Distler is fond of coming up with so-called “ideal” versions of piano cycles, where feature a different pianist in each work, and without repeating an artist. “My choices for The Seasons feature twelve pianists from different generations and backgrounds,” Jed says. “Each interpretation stands out in its distinctive way, and I’d like to think that there are no weak links on this playlist.”

Featured pianists include (in no particular order) Jonas Vitaud, Mikhail Pletnev, Vassily Primakov, Ilya Rashkovsky, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Ania Dorfmann, Sviatoslav Richter, Earl Wild, Michael Ponti, Peter Katin, Olli Mustonen and Shura Cherkassky.

Find out who plays what by tuning in to Between the Keys Tuesday night at 10 , with a rebroadcast Wednesday at noon, exclusively on The Classical Network and WWFM.org.

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Jed Distler is Artist-in-Residence for The Classical Network and program host of Between the Keys, Tuesdays at 10 pm.