Arrangement for piano by Albert Brussee
The majority of Fibich’s keyboard music is collected under the title Nálady, dojmi a upominsky (‘Moods, impressions and memories’), composed between 1892 and 1899 and published under opus numbers 41, 44, 47 and 57. Opus 41 alone consists of 171 (!) short keyboard pieces, which are published in four volumes. The well-known Poème is to be found in Volume IV, No. 14. The theme is best known in the arrangement for violin and piano by the famous violinist Jan Kubelik (1880-1940), who played his transcription all over the world. Kubelik added a few introductory bars and repeated the third sentence (b. 5-8). The composition is usually heard in this way, both in the version for violin and piano and in other arrangements (inter alia for cello and piano, for salon orchestra, for singing voice and piano, yes, even for guitar and mandolin). However, the original keyboard piece is rarely heard anymore, possibly because it is only ten bars long. The current arrangement first presents the keyboard piece in its original setting. Entering into the tradition of salon music – in this elements of the romantic performance practice live on to this day! – the theme is then repeated in a varied way. ‘Varying’ is a big word here. It only concerns broadening the pianistic means and adding a counterpart; the harmonies remained unaffected. In a simple way I have tried to give this composition a bit more ‘volume’ and to make it suitable for performance on stage.
Difficulty: Grade VIII (on a scale of XII grades).
Poème looks like sophisticated salon music, but can also serve well as a lovely encore. After the original composition (only ten bars long) is heard, a repeat follows in which the texture is enriched and a counterpart is added. But everything without harming the harmonies. In short, this arrangement and that of Maria remain poetic and are grateful pianistic gems.
Maarten Boonstra in PianoWereld 2014-5.
The first page offers Fibich’s original, the second an in pianistic terms somewhat fuller variation by Albert Brussee. In this version, the strongly vocal Poème seems to me to be a perfect encore after a romantic piano recital.
Christo Lelie in Piano Bulletin 2014-2.
© 2023, AB Music Productions & Editions, The Hague.
8 pages; with a Preface in Dutch and English.
Available through the usual music channels (distribution by Hal Leonard in Holland and Belgium) and direct from AB Music Productions & Editions.