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Tchaikovsky: 18 Pieces For Solo Piano / Pletnev

Release Date: 05/10/2005 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 000428402   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Peter Ilyich TchaikovskyFrédéric Chopin
Performer:  Mikhail Pletnev
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Mikhail Pletnev is one of the few major pianists dedicated to exploring Tchaikovsky's lesser-known piano music, and no one does it better. The 18 pieces of Op. 72 constitute the composer's last works for the instrument. He typically bitched and moaned while writing them, called them trash, and in general behaved the way he always did while in the throes of creation. Naturally, the music is lovely, and typical late-Tchaikovsky. There are dance pieces evocative of the ballet (Mazurque pour danser; Polacca de concert; Danse caractéristique; Scène dansante); tributes to his predecessors (Un poco di Schumann; Un poco di Chopin); and delightful miniature "character" numbers
Read more (Tendres reproches; Dialogue; Echo rustique).

You also can find some pieces written on a larger scale, such as Scherzo-fantasie, Chant élégiaque, Méditation, and Berceuse. In short, this is a wonderfully rich and varied collection, and Pletnev clearly relishes every bit of it. His playing has all of the romantic impulsiveness, rhythmic freedom, and imagination that the music requires (and that is so often lacking in his conducting). The entire collection lasts slightly more than an hour, and so makes an excellent recital program all by itself, which is how Pletnev presents it in this live recording. Hearing the entire set at a sitting certainly reinforces the music's richness of invention, even though I could have done without the audible presence of the enthusiastic audience (thankfully not obtrusive during the actual music-making).

A daringly slow, probing account of Chopin's Nocturne No. 20 in C-sharp minor (op. posth.) makes a poetic encore. It's the kind of thing you can get away with in concert but would have a very hard time duplicating in the studio, and I suppose that this observation applies equally to the entire recital. It certainly makes an excellent case for the additional spontaneity gained by capturing a performance live and in real time, particularly when, as here, the sonics are first class. Terrific!
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Morceaux (18) for Piano, Op. 72 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Mikhail Pletnev (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
Date of Recording: 06/2004 
Venue:  Live  Tonhalle, Zürich, Switzerland 
Length: 56 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Nocturne for Piano in C sharp minor, B 49 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Mikhail Pletnev (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; Poland 
Date of Recording: 06/2004 
Venue:  Live  Tonhalle, Zürich, Switzerland 
Length: 5 Minutes 6 Secs. 

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