I used mostly my ears

a blog about music by Marc Haegeman


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Boris Berezovsky’s Tchaikovsky

Piotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky:
Piano Concerto #2 in G Major, Op. 44
Theme & Variations, Op. 19 #6
Pieces for Piano, Op. 40 #2,5,6,7,8
Valse sentimentale, Op. 51 #6 *
Andante cantabile, from String Quartet, Op. 11 *

Boris Berezovsky, piano
* Henri Demarquette, cello
Sinfonia Varsovia/Alexander Vedernikov
Mirare 200 DDD 72m

Berezovsky plays Tchaikovsky

Berezovsky plays Tchaikovsky

Unlike its ubiquitous predecessor, Tchaikovsky’s Second Piano Concerto (1880) never achieved much popularity. It’s a brilliant, at times fiendishly difficult, and optimistic work (especially for Tchaikovsky), but from the beginning its length was criticized, just as much as its most original feature, the lyrical Andante non troppo which the composer transformed into a sort of triple concerto for violin, cello and piano – contemporary to Brahms’s Second Piano Concerto. Curiously, while some pianists like Emil Gilels and Shura Cherkassky made performing the G major into something of a specialty, others who left their mark on the First Concerto ignored it completely (Sviatoslav Richter, Vladimir Horowitz, Martha Argerich, among others). The Second Concerto was virtually always recorded in its heavily abridged version published posthumously by pianist Alexander Siloti – and containing edits Tchaikovsky never approved of. The most drastic cuts precisely affect the Andante non troppo. It wasn’t before the mid-1980s (thanks to pianists like Viktoria Postnikova and Peter Donohoe) that the original, uncut version became part of standard recording practice.
Read the full review on Classical Net


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Mikhaïl Rudy Plays Tchaikovsky

Piotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto #1, Op. 23
Serge Prokofieff: Cinderella, Op. 87 (fragments)

Mikhaïl Rudy, piano
Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France/Alexander Vedernikov
Paris, Salle Pleyel, January 6, 2012

Led by the Russian guest conductor Alexander Vedernikov, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France inaugurated the year with an attractive all-Russian program, pairing Piotr Tchaikovsky’s 1st Piano concerto, featuring Mikhaïl Rudy as soloist, with a suite from Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet Cinderella. Founded in 1937 and directed since 2000 by Myung-Whun Chung, the orchestra has acquired a reputation as one of the finest European formations. If this concert was in any way representative for the standard of the orchestra, then this is indeed an ensemble that demands our attention.
Read the full review on Classical Net