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Penguin Guide, January 2009

TCHAIKOVSKY: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 3 8.557257
TCHAIKOVSKY: Piano Concerto No. 2 / Concert Fantasia 8.557824

Konstantin Scherbakov is a fine pianist and a first-rate Tchaikovskian in a really Russian partnership with Yablonsky, he gives us all Tchaikovsky’s concertante music for piano, including the Andante and Finale. Op. 79 (drawing on music for a discarded symphony) which Taneyev revised and scored after the composer’s death—including plenty of rhetoric. The performances are full of impulsive virtuosity, but the famous B flat minor, while not a barnstorming account, is satisfying for its overall balance, as well as for an exciting finale. The Third Concerto comes off very well indeed; the Second Concertos is played uncut, and one might have been pared down to good effect. But the slow movement and the brilliant finale are very successful. The highlight of the set is superb, bravura account of the Concert Fantasy, lyrical and sparkling by turns. The recording is spacious, the piano boldly placed in front of the orchestra. The two discs are available separately.

Bryce Morrison
Gramophone, June 2004

"An admirably non-showy performance of the Tchaikovsky First in a rare coupling."

David Breckhill
BBC Music Magazine, June 2004

"The performances on the Naxos disc are clear and accomplished."

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