Notes and Editorial Reviews
It's not every day that you find Tchaikovsky's two major large-scale solo-piano works on one CD, and that may be enough of a reason to acquire this disc. Compared to the clear-cut sobriety of Peter Katin's erstwhile G major sonata/Les Saisons coupling on Olympia, Yakov Kasman's big sound and impulsive phrasing convey more idiomatic immediacy. However, he tends to milk Les Saisons' lyrical pieces to the point of sagging, while pushing the upbeat, virtuosic selections a little too aggressively for dancing comfort. Stick with Pletnev's wonderfully balletic account on Virgin Classics.
Steadier basic tempos, unflagging energy, and plenty of color factors into Kasman's ability to make Tchaikovsky's rather episodic sonata sound
important. In a catalog with few completely satisfying modern studio recordings of this problematic opus, Kasman wins reference position by default, and Calliope's slightly too close but full-bodied engineering more than suffices. The sonically antediluvian Gregori Ginzburg and Sviatoslav Richter versions remain artistically unsurpassed, but that's another story and another review.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Les saisons, Op. 37b by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Yakov Kasman (Piano)
Notes: Composition written: Russia (1875 - 1876).
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