Transcribed Works

Performances of the Transcribed Works

In December 8-10, 2021, Michael Drapkin flew to the Czech Republic to oversee the recording of the full works that he transcribed for chamber orchestra with the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava.  The orchestra did a fantastic job, and it was led by his dear friend and conductor Mark Laycock, who has conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra and many others.  During those sessions, they recorded 1000 pages of scores and parts.

Subsequently, two record labels vied to release these as recordings, and he chose to go with the Pro Organo label from Zarex Corporation.  Zarex is led by Frederick Hohman, who also engineered the post production on his Ostrava Recordings.  These recordings have been released on Naxos, as well as on Spotify and Apple Music.

Naxos submitted the Strauss recording below to NARAS for Grammy consideration.

These works have since been performed by professional orchestras on three continents.

In 2023, The Venice Symphony in Florida commissioned Drapkin to transcribe the entire Nutcracker Ballet from full symphony orchestra to 26 instruments – 1500 pages of scores and parts. It was premiered by the Venice Symphony at the Venice Performing Arts Center in December, 2023.

Below are videos from the recording sessions, with the final mixed audio, and interspersed with images from the Czech recording sessions.

Richard Strauss:  Salome’s Dance, Op. 54 (1904-1905)

Transcribed for Chamber Orchestra by Michael Drapkin

Nikolai Rimsky Koraskov: Capriccio Espagnol, Op. 34 (1887)

Transcribed for Chamber Orchestra by Michael Drapkin

Hector Berlioz:  Symphonie Fantastique, Op. 14 (1830)

Transcribed for Chamber Orchestra by Michael Drapkin

Berlioz Movement I: Reveries – Passions

Berlioz Movement II: A Ball

Berlioz Movement III: Scene in the Country

Berlioz Movement IV: March to the Gallows

Berlioz Movement V: Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath