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A famous and historic pair of recordings still making a strong coupling,,
This review is from: Tchaikovsky / Prokofiev: Piano Concertos (Audio CD)
This disc couples together the Tchaikovsky concerto conducted by Dutoit from 1971 with her Prokofiev conducted by Abbado from 1967. Both are good recordings from those periods and both recordings show Argerich in full command of proceedings and well supported by her two conductors and their orchestras.
There are now other options of experiencing Argerich in both of these two works. The closest match is a very well restored visual presentation available from Euroarts on DVD. This contains the same two concertos recorded 'live' in 1977 featuring the Tchaikovsky with Groves and the RLPO coupled with the Prokofiev with Previn and the LSO. These are exciting performances from the same vintage and have the undeniable additional benefit of seeing Argerich playing as well as hearing her.
She also made a well-respected later recording of the Tchaikovsky on CD with Chailly which was notable for its fast speeds. Although obviously very exciting there is also a sense of being too fast for the comfort of the music and the same feeling persists as regards the Rachmaninov 3 coupling. The earlier 1971 performance of the Tchaikovsky on this disc has more room to breathe and is arguably preferable for that reason. There is also a respected, even later version with Abbado and that is coupled with the two piano version of the Nutcracker music.
This earlier disc still holds its place therefore as containing two of the best versions available of the two concertos and it therefore makes a particularly strong coupling. For this reason it has now achieved something of an historic reference status for many collectors.
At the same price or less it is possible to obtain fine sets of the complete Prokofiev concertos in newer sound by Beroff or Krainev for example which may make a strong alternative option for purchasers. Yuja Wang's account of the Prokofiev 3 with Abbado at Lucerne is particularly notable. That visual production is coupled with Mahler 1 and is available on both DVD and Blu-ray.
There are numerous alternative recordings of the Tchaikovsky. Still, the fact remains that none of the others offers this particular coupling and this disc therefore has that special claim and offers superb performances from a young Argerich on top form.
I would suggest therefore that this disc still has claim to be seriously considered by collectors, especially those attracted by this particular coupling of two major concertos.