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Reviews: Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1

The MHS Review 409, VOL. 12, NO.13• 1988

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King Durkee, Copley News Service (June 8, 1988)


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Tchaikovsky: Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 23. Martha Argerich, Piano; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Charles Dutoit, Conductor. Prokofiev: Concerto No. 3 in C Major for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 26. Martha Argerich, Piano; Berlin Philharmonic; Claudio Abbado, Conductor.

These recordings have a few years under their belt. The Tchaikovsky dates from 1971, the Prokofiev from 1967. They're both in my library. I remember them well when they were first published by Polydor. The quality of sound on this recording is OK but not of the supersound quality of works recorded today on CDs. The piano fares better than the orchestra in the Tchaikovsky. For better orchestral reproduction, turn the volume up a bit.

But, of course, the main thing we are in­terested in here is the artistry of the then-­younger Martha Argerich. And this comes across loud and clear and brilliantly. She gives us impassioned readings of the two concerti. Her Tchaikovsky is romantic to the core; her Prokofiev is a dazzler. All in all, a very nice buy for a CD at the MHS price.

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