Margarita Zelenaia’s “Fantasy for Four Pianos on Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade” is featured on the Chicago Debut Concert’s CD of the “Pianissimo!”

The Pianissimo! ensemble’s mission as a four piano ensemble is to
present entertaining and education programs of Classical music on two and four

The “Fantasy for Four Pianos on Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade” continues the tradition of Russian romanticism, a music style that changed the world. In 2015, it was commissioned and premiered by the “Pianissimo!” Four pianos Chicago based ensemble.

The “Fantasy” is based on the Fourth movement of the orchestral suite by Rimsky-Korsakov, but, besides that, here are the combinations of the main themes and leit-motifs, and their unexpected turns have been added. So, an intrigued listener, on one hand, can recognize the familiar melodies, but, on the other hand, to feel an unusual sound of the highly virtuosic Piano orchestra, with all possible nuances that include: powerful climaxes and lyrical episodes, the texture with rich counterpoints, and driving, fascinating rhythm. As a result, the Rimsky Korsakov’s lush orchestral fabric was transformed into the poignant Four Piano orchestral sound.

Chicago Classical Review

By Gerald Fisher

“The clear highlight of the program was another world premiere, Zelenaia’s Fantasy for Four Pianos on Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade”. This is not so much an arrangement as an original work, a fantasy on themes from the popular orchestral work. The piece progresses dramatically with some nice solo opportunities, and the idiomatic arrangement concludes with a nod to Russian Romanticism.”

This CD also featured the works by: Beethoven, Saint-Saens, Tchaikovsky Gershwin, Lutoslawsky, Paganini, Stone, and Levinson.