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Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No 1; Rachmaninoff / Volodos


Release Date: 11/11/2003 
Label:  Sony Classical Super Audio Catalog #: 93067   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Peter Ilyich TchaikovskySergei RachmaninovArcadi Volodos
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 54 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This selection is a Super Audio CD; it is playable on both regular and Super Audio players.

This very fine Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto will come as a surprise to those who view Arcadi Volodos merely as a barn-storming virtuoso with few ideas and even less subtlety. His attack on the opening chords is big and bold, to be sure, but he never bangs, and once the first movement proper gets going he's noteworthy for the smoothness and flow that characterizes the first subject, and the very relaxed wistfulness with which he shapes the work's more reflective moments. In truth, Volodos and Ozawa have a tendency to let the tension sag a little in the movement's later stages, particularly just before the coda, but only very
Read more slightly.


The second movement has an exquisite, gossamer delicacy that's quite entrancing, aided in no small degree by some very sensitive wind playing from the Berlin Philharmonic and a middle section that moves with quicksilver abandon. Lightness and rhythmic point also characterize Volodos' view of the finale, so much so that the extremely fierce orchestral contributions from Ozawa (reputedly a wimp in this department) come as something of a shock. It's a reading of high contrasts, and when Volodos finally cuts loose just before the reprise of the big tune, the effect is overwhelmingly exciting. In short, in a crowded field, there's plenty here to stake this reading's claim to your attention.


The Rachmaninov encores also are impressive, particularly the Moment Musical Op. 16 No. 2, in which Volodos throws up huge geysers of notes with effortless fluency. His own Concert Paraphrase on the Polka italienne is lots of fun as well, an uninhibited romp that closes the program in very satisfying fashion. The live recording of the concerto reveals microphones a bit too close to the piano (we really don't need to hear Volodos' fingernails clicking on the keys), though with little sacrifice in clarity even if the orchestral tuttis sound a bit harsh. Still, the excitement of what must have been a thrilling live event comes over vividly, and that's what matters. A very enjoyable release.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Date of Recording: 06/2002 
Venue:  Live  Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 32 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: Russia (1874 - 1875). 
2.
Preludes (10) for Piano, Op. 23: no 10 in G flat major, Largo by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1903; Russia 
Date of Recording: 04/2003 
Venue:  Scoring Stage, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 36 Secs. 
3.
Moments musicaux (6), Op. 16: no 2, Allegretto in E flat minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Russia 
Date of Recording: 04/2003 
Venue:  Scoring Stage, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 18 Secs. 
4.
Songs (6), Op. 38: no 3, Daisies by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1916; Russia 
Date of Recording: 04/2003 
Venue:  Scoring Stage, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 29 Secs. 
5.
Oriental Sketch for Piano in B flat major by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1917; USSR 
Date of Recording: 04/2003 
Venue:  Scoring Stage, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 44 Secs. 
6.
Morceaux de fantaisies (5), Op. 3: no 3, Mélodie in E major by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Date of Recording: 04/2003 
Venue:  Scoring Stage, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: Russia (1892).
Composition revised: 1940. 
7.
Preludes (13) for Piano, Op. 32: no 5 in G major, Moderato by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
Date of Recording: 04/2003 
Venue:  Scoring Stage, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 57 Secs. 
8.
Concert Paraphrase on Rachmaninov's "Polka italienne" by Arcadi Volodos
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Russia 
Date of Recording: 04/2003 
Venue:  Scoring Stage, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 3 Secs. 

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