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Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev: Piano Concertos / Terence Judd

Release Date: 06/26/2001 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 9913   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Peter Ilyich TchaikovskySergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Terence Judd
Conductor:  Alexander Lazarev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This recording, made at the 1978 Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow, is one of the few documents of the phenomenal pianism of Terence Judd, whose meteoric career was cruelly cut short at the age of 22. Born in London, Judd began performing internationally when he was only 14, thrilling audiences with the same firebrand playing on display here. Judd leaps into the Tchaikovsky concerto head first, with teeth bared, taking on the big tune with an elegant cockiness that is as refreshing as it is startling. Afterward, Judd tackles Tchaikovsky's rapid runs with a ferocity that recalls Van Cliburn's classic post-competition performance. But it's not all fire-breathing bravura; Judd also creates moments of tender poetry, especially in the extended Read more first movement cadenza (which Pogolerich turns into a Lisztian rhapsody) and in the lovely Andantino.

Given the circumstances of this recording it's not shocking that there are more than a few finger slips throughout, but the only really distracting moment comes in the Andantino's central scherzo section where orchestra and pianist are briefly out of sync. Judd's finale has all the raging fire of Martha Argerich's live performance with Kirill Kondrashin (though he manages to get more fingers on the keys than she does). The Prokofiev Third concerto receives a no less thrilling performance, and Judd's ringing tone, perfect chord balancing, and miraculously clear and distinct runs make you realize afresh what a knuckle-buster this concerto is (and what a great pianist Prokofiev must have been). Judd again summons up Argerich-like speed and energy, but is more steely where she is poetic (listen particularly to their contrasted way with the first movement's dancing second subject). Especially exciting is how Judd carefully calibrates the increasing tension leading to the finale's euphoric close.

A major contributing factor to the success of both of these readings is the virtuoso and fully committed playing by the Moscow Philharmonic under Alexander Lazarev, who makes these performances truly collaborative events. The live recording suffers from limited dynamics and, in the Prokofiev, tape saturation. But this simply doesn't matter in the face of such enthralling performances. Sure, you more than likely have better sounding versions in your collection, but get this disc and you'll find yourself irresistibly caught up in this marvelous music making, and perhaps sadly reflecting on what might have been. . .
--Victor Carr Jr., ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Concerto for Piano no 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Terence Judd (Piano)
Conductor:  Alexander Lazarev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Date of Recording: 1978 
Venue:  Live  Moscow, USSR 
Notes: Composition written: Russia (1874 - 1875). 
Concerto for Piano no 3 in C major, Op. 26 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Terence Judd (Piano)
Conductor:  Alexander Lazarev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917-1921; USA 
Date of Recording: 1978 
Venue:  Live  Moscow, USSR 

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