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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Romantic & Overwhelmingly Powerful performances!
Horowitz & Toscanini gives deeply romantic & overwhelmingly powerful performances of the both concertos (recorded in 1940&41) with the orchestra playing as strong as the pianist.

Brahms concerto is played with incredible virtuosity and much passion. Very sensitively played slow movement has magical beauty. Tchaikovsky concerto is so intense that you feel...
Published on 7 Sep 2007 by Scriabinmahler

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mature but demonic!
Years ago I was knocked sideways by the LP recording of the 1st Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto by Peter Katin, from 1959. Then about 15 years ago I purchased Peter Jablonski's 1994 CD recording (of the Tchaikovsky and the Grieg piano concerto together). However, the Jablonski has never moved me as the Katin did, despite the excellent digital sound recording. It has always...
Published on 1 Mar 2011 by Skylark


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Romantic & Overwhelmingly Powerful performances!, 7 Sep 2007
By 
Scriabinmahler (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Brahms: Piano Concerto No.2 / Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1 (Audio CD)
Horowitz & Toscanini gives deeply romantic & overwhelmingly powerful performances of the both concertos (recorded in 1940&41) with the orchestra playing as strong as the pianist.

Brahms concerto is played with incredible virtuosity and much passion. Very sensitively played slow movement has magical beauty. Tchaikovsky concerto is so intense that you feel exhausted after listening to just the first movement! Some of the fast passages and the octaves in the finale defies belief.

Recording quality is poor but good enough to convey what the pianist and the orchestra are doing.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mature but demonic!, 1 Mar 2011
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This review is from: Brahms: Piano Concerto No.2 / Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1 (Audio CD)
Years ago I was knocked sideways by the LP recording of the 1st Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto by Peter Katin, from 1959. Then about 15 years ago I purchased Peter Jablonski's 1994 CD recording (of the Tchaikovsky and the Grieg piano concerto together). However, the Jablonski has never moved me as the Katin did, despite the excellent digital sound recording. It has always seemed "mushy" and lacking in real and touching passion, despite the excellent recording quality. So recently I did a great deal of research to find a better recording. All the reviews pointed me to the Horowitz recorded with Toscanini in the early 1940s, so I purchased it.

Firstly, and sadly, the Naxos sound technicians have clearly been unable to remove the continual and omnipresent "shish" (rather than "hiss") of the 1940s recording. (They at least relieve one of it between movements, only allowing it back in just a second or so before the next movement begins.) So firstly you have to get used to this omnipresent "white noise" which is much more present than on many LPs from the, let's say, the 1970s. And then you have to get past the poor sound recording of the piano and orchestra themselves! Obviously the equipment of the 1940s was not able to take thunderous loud passages in the way that recording equipment now can.

Once you have acclimatised yourself to these two artefacts of an old recording, you can focus on the performance itself. It is indeed astounding, and not only technically but emotionally. Horowitz and Toscanini clearly perform the piece from a very assured and mature position. They are in control of it. They master it. They are on top of it. Completely. However, it seems they also agreed that the intention or impetus of the performance would be something akin to wild fury, even anger. Horowitz thus plays the piece like a demon out of hell, like a man possessed with fury, fields ahead of mere firm "assertion". It works, it's acceptable, but it is not moving - unless you are roused by speed, fury, and wildness alone! It works especially well towards the end of the final movement when Horowitz, Toscanini, and orchestra truly recreate and take a wild and FRANTIC Cossack dance to the concluding notes of the concerto.

So here I am still looking for a fine modern recording, of excellent modern sound, which has both bite AND the true wealth of heartfelt and anguished emotion that are in notes and harmonies of the piece. If anyone can point me to the right recording, I would be most grateful.

As for now, I have returned to my Jablonski and am enjoying the high quality of its sound, and its technical performances, though still I know it needs that extra depth of emotion that can only be provided by a mature and older player, as well as one who truly understands Tchaikovsky the man.
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