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Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos Nos. 1-3, Concert Fantasy [GEMINI] Original recording remastered

4.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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  • Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos Nos. 1-3, Concert Fantasy [GEMINI]
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Rudolf Barshai
  • Audio CD (20 Oct. 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B0000CE7G0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 110,115 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. I.Quasi rondo (Andante mosso)
  2. II.Contrastes (Andante cantabile-Molto vivace-Vivacissimo-Allegro moderato-Vivacissimo-Molto più tranquillo-Vivace)
  3. I. Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso
  4. II. Andantino semplice - Prestissimo - Tempo primo
  5. III. Allegro con fuoco

Disc: 2

  1. I. Allegro brillante
  2. II. Andante non troppo
  3. III. Allegro con fuoco
  4. Allegro brillante - Cadenza - Tempo I - Vivacissimo

Product Description

BARSHAI RUDOLF / BOURNEMOUTH S

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is a digital recording laid down in the 1980s. As far as I am aware it was among the first recordings to render Concerto no. 2 complete and uncut, restoring the status quo before Ziloti got his hands on it. By contrast,the earlier Gilels recording follows the savage cuts Ziloti made, which more or less eviscerated the second movement. It's refreshing also to hear the second concerto performed with the violin and cello obbligati played by virtuoso soloists in their own right (Kennedy and Isserlis) rather than the leader and principal cellist of the orchestra. This gives a completely fresh perspective on what Tchaikovsky intended.

Donohoe and Barshai play it a bit safe, a bit conservative. Had they let themselves go a little more, they might well have given us the recording of the (20th) century. Even so, a good buy at bargain price. Its only serious competition if you want to hear the complete 2nd concerto is the super-budget Naxos recording with Bernd Glemser and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra under Antoni Wit, which also includes Tanayev's orchestration of the Andante and Finale Op. 79.

Altogether, a satisfactory reading of a work that is very poorly served in both the concert hall and the recording studio, coupled with the ever popular B flat minor concerto, the single movement third concerto and the Fantasie de Concert. I think, like another reviewer, that I prefer the 2nd to the 1st.
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Format: Audio CD
In my opinion this set is hard to beat - and the quality vs price ratio is huge! I have seen Donohoe perform live (Rachmaninov 24 preludes in Manchester) so I bought this CD on the back of his concert. It was a revelation because I had only heard Tchaikovsky's no1 up to that point, but I actually found that No2 became my favourite. It's superb! Inclusion of the No3 and the Fantasy are also bonuses not to be missed. A very generous set all-round.
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Format: Audio CD
Peter Donohoe's recordings of Tchaikovksy's music for piano and orchestra is welcome if for no better reason that it provides us with another interpretation of the all too rarely recorded Concert Fantasy and 2nd Piano Concerto, both unfairly neglected in favour of the deservedly popular 1st concerto. The 3rd concerto, also included on these discs, is something of an anomaly, being a single movement of the great composer at his least inspired, but it's worth a hearing if you haven't had the chance.

Donohoe's playing is masterful, if a little on the safe side at times, and it is in this respect that we are left a little underwhelmed by the end. The central solo section of the first movement of the Concert Fantasy is a particular case in point, being taken at so leisurely a pace that it lacks the necessary momentum and drive that marks this piece out as one of the most glittering and exciting in all the piano repertoire. Donohoe's clarity is commendable, but to play Tchaikovksy as you might play Beethoven is to miss the essential Russianness of his music which, I respectfully suggest, demands the degree of risk-taking and adrenaline-fired romanticism that the Pletnev recording, for example, has in abundance. The balance leaves a little to be desired, as well, and some of Donohoe's most brilliant work is lost at times beneath an overly hyped orchestra.

The 2nd Piano Concerto provides the best listening on these discs and it's interesting to hear a perfromance in which the traditional criticisms of this work, namely that the middle movement is in fact a triple concerto, have been awarded a hearty two fingers with the apportioning of the solo violin and cello roles to the stellar personages of Nigel Kennedy and Steven Isserlis.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having been a fan of Tchaikovsky's famous Piano Concerto No.1 in B flat minor for many years, I fancied getting all three of his piano concertos. I did consider the Mikhail Pletnev/Philharmonia set but decided on this 2 disc set with Peter Donohoe/Rudolf Barshai/Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (late 1980's recordings for EMI) because of its generally good reviews. For me the B flat Concerto is the stand out piece on the first CD and actually on the whole set. There are some reviewers who think it is a "safe performance" rather than very exciting and they do have a point when it is compared with say Martha Argerich/Berlin Philharmonic. But I would say there is enough quality between the excellent Donohoe and the BSO to make this recording very special to listen to. Also included on the first CD is the Concert Fantasy for piano and orchestra with scintillating playing from Peter Donohoe.

On the second CD are Tchaikovsky's 2nd and 3rd Piano Concertos and again fine playing from Donohoe and the BSO. It's just a pity they haven't got the really big tunes of his great B flat minor Concerto.
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