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  • Piano Concertos Nos. 1 And 3 (Yablonsky) [Sacd/CD Hybrid]
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Piano Concertos Nos. 1 And 3 (Yablonsky) [Sacd/CD Hybrid] Hybrid SACD, SACD


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Product details

  • Orchestra: Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Dmitry Yablonsky
  • Composer: Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky
  • Audio CD (29 Mar. 2004)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD, SACD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B0001N9Z9I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 462,663 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Allegro Non Troppo E Molto Maestoso - Allegro Con Spirito
2. Andantino Semplice - Prestissimo - Tempo I
3. Allegro Con Fuoco
4. Allegro Brillante
5. Andante
6. Allegro Maestoso

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 30 Jun. 2004
Konstantin Scherbakov is a Russian pianist who has of late made many recordings, primarily of Russian music, for Naxos and Marco Polo. His recording of the Shostakovich 'Preludes and Fugues' is among the very best as is his recording of Shostakovich's first piano sonata. He has also recorded Rachmaninov brilliantly; he had come to international attention in 1990 when he played Rachmaninov's complete works for solo piano in Italy and garnered an enthusiastic endorsement from none other than Sviatoslav Richter. In the several years that he has been recording for Naxos/Marco Polo I have been increasingly impressed with his breadth and depth of musicianship.
Here, of course, we have performances of one of the most-recorded piano concertos ever written, Tchaikovsky's First. Practically every major pianist of the twentieth century (and many not-so-major ones) have recorded this concerto, and there are many fine performances. This one is able to hold its own amongst the very best. Not only does Scherbakov give a brilliant performance, he is given a sensitive and flexible accompaniment by Dmitri Yablonsky and the Russian Philharmonic. Particular commendation go to the principal oboe and flute, and even more to the principal cello and violin, all of whom have important solos in both concertos recorded here. Yablonsky manages transitional passages with skill and suavity; listen, for instance, to the second movement of the First Concerto: the transition to the quick middle section begins as naturally as to be almost unnoticed, not something that every conductor can pull off, and the same is true for the gearing back down for the return of the opening andante. Scherbakov has lightning-fast leggiero passages but also has thunderous octaves that never become clangorous.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. John Manning on 9 Nov. 2009
Verified Purchase
J Scott Morrison has described the performances here most succinctly, and I hope he will not mind if I add a little more about the recording.

It's a shame that Naxos abandoned SACD as they were issuing interesting discs. I was very disappointed that only the first of the Brahms symphonies, conducted by Marin Alsop, was issued in this medium as I had intended buying all four.
This recording was apparently made in March 2003 in Studio 5, Kultura state TV and Radio company. As J Scott Morrison has said, it is indeed rich and full. The rear speakers carry a lot of information, which appears not to be simply reverberation, as the lateral imaging from the front speakers is made a little vague and unfocused. I was bemused to find a trombone had managed to place itself in my right rear speaker. Woodwinds fare best, in their central position.
The piano sound is somewhat wide, larger than life, and brought slightly forward of the front speakers, but not enough to render the overall result very unnatural.
Frequency and dynamic range, and orchestral balance, are fine.
Listening in stereo loses the 'airiness' of the sound, but improves the imaging. The location used for the recording may well be the main reason for the overall effect, as the same soloist and conductor playing Rachmaninov's second and third concertos create a very similar soundstage from the same studio.
I have deducted one star because I feel that the surround sound just falls short of the best.
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Tchaikovsky wrote two complete concertos for piano, the so-called 3rd (on this recording) is a hotchpotch gleaned from material the composer intended for a symphony, in that sense it is not "complete".

The B flat minor Concerto is, by all reckoning, one of the most popular (if not THE most popular) of all piano concertos, with those by Grieg and Rachmaninoff (No.2) trailing behind somewhat. On this recording the first movement lasts nearly 20 minutes. A classic recording by Vladimir Horowitz with Toscanini pre-1943 from a "live" performance lasts well under 18 minutes. Yet the Scherbakov rendering is by no means pedestrian, on the contrary, particularly in the third movement. In fact the choice of tempo is about correct to allow for clarity of sound in both the orchestra and from the piano.

The concerto is, as I say, so well known that to talk of thematic and other detail would be superfluous in a review of this nature. However, I would draw attention to the opening theme from the second movement played on flute with pizzicato strings accompaniment, an altogether affecting combination. This theme, in slightly modified form, was to be used fourteen years later in the slow movement of the E minor Symphony No.5. The Concerto's second movement has a short middle section in fast tempo, a technique sometimes adopted by other composers including Rachmaninoff.

The third movement is an exacting exercise for the pianist. Once again the tempo must not be too hasty as to mask the clear writing for piano. There are essentially two themes, the second a sweeping melody that on the third repeat builds to a climax with typical Tchaikovskian fervour.

This work I have known since my very early childhood living out the WW2 years close to London's East End. My mother would sometimes put a recording on the gramophone to drown out the sound of the air raid siren - the opening to the concerto won time and again!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A Beautiful Performance from Pianist and Orchestra Alike 23 Jun. 2004
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Konstantin Scherbakov is a Russian pianist who has of late made many recordings, primarily of Russian music, for Naxos and Marco Polo. His recording of the Shostakovich 'Preludes and Fugues' is among the very best as is his recording of Shostakovich's first piano sonata. He has also recorded Rachmaninov brilliantly; he had come to international attention in 1990 when he played Rachmaninov's complete works for solo piano in Italy and garnered an enthusiastic endorsement from none other than Sviatoslav Richter. In the several years that he has been recording for Naxos/Marco Polo I have been increasingly impressed with his breadth and depth of musicianship.
Here, of course, we have performances of one of the most-recorded piano concertos ever written, Tchaikovsky's First. Practically every major pianist of the twentieth century (and many not-so-major ones) have recorded this concerto, and there are many fine performances. This one is able to hold its own amongst the very best. Not only does Scherbakov give a brilliant performance, he is given a sensitive and flexible accompaniment by Dmitri Yablonsky and the Russian Philharmonic. Particular commendation go to the principal oboe and flute, and even more to the principal cello and violin, all of whom have important solos in both concertos recorded here. Yablonsky manages transitional passages with skill and suavity; listen, for instance, to the second movement of the First Concerto: the transition to the quick middle section begins as naturally as to be almost unnoticed, not something that every conductor can pull off, and the same is true for the gearing back down for the return of the opening andante. Scherbakov has lightning-fast leggiero passages but also has thunderous octaves that never become clangorous. And in the midst of these technical displays he also makes music. As I've stated in earlier reviews, Scherbakov's sound does not seem to vary from piano to piano, a sign of a great player.
The Third Concerto has a marvelous first movement, played with great brilliance here, but is let down by the second and third movements, each completed after Tchaikovsky's death by his friend, Sergey Taneyev. It is no wonder that this concerto is rarely played. Still, it is given a good performance here by soloist and orchestra and certainly anyone who loves Tchaikovsky's music - and only snobs don't, I suspect - it should be in every collection.
The CD is a hybrid SACD (mastered in DSD) and can be played on either regular CD player or 5.1 multichannel surround sound equipment. The sound is rich and full in both formats. This recording has a plain audio CD (non-SACD) release as well.
Recommended.
Scott Morrison
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Engineering causes great disservice........ 15 Jan. 2008
By JUST A REVIEWER2 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Please note this recording was played in my home on stereo---not multichannel---equipment which is of the upper audiophile range.

I have nothing negative to say about the orchestral and solo instrument playing. However, at least in my system, the engineering ruins the entire recording. Specifically, the balance between orchestra and piano is completely off...with loudness of each being equal as far as my perception is concerned. Sorry, but I don't think that's the way a properly recorded instrumental concerto is supposed to work.

I suggest, before spending money to buy a personal copy of the CD, an attempt be made to prevue this recording.

****
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