Notes and Editorial Reviews
...The First Concerto is revealing in the sense that dialogue between soloist and orchestra is particularly sensitive; listen, for example, to the delicately voiced woodwinds at 638" (in the first movement), to Postnikova's subsequent response and, most especially, to the pianist's free yet nimble handling of the second movement's treacherous valse-prestissimo (4'05"). Note, too, how she caresses the arpeggiated phrases that close the movement (from, say, 7'21") or her coltish but lilting approach to the finale. As Tchaikovsky Firsts go, this is among the most searching, the most personal and certainly the most individual that I know... Postnikova and Rozhdestvensky have so much to say about the music that I cannot imagine
many open-minded listeners failing to respond.
-- Gramophone [11/1996]
reviewing Piano Concerto no 1 previously reissued as part of Decca 448107
Two mainstays of the repertoire provide symmetry, value and balance in this disc. Both works are very well known. The Decca provenance of each version branches out in the case of the Ricci to Decca's hi-fi Phase Four line (1975) and for the Postnikova to Decca's FFRR premium range (1983).
Both soloists stand to one side of the celebrity circuit. The recordings are big and bold, wide-stage and exciting. The vehement fist-shaking impact of the horns at the start of the piano concerto says it all. This is vivid music-making by characters rather than production-line technicians. The beaming geniality of Rozhdestvensky does not undermine the grip and excitement of the piano concerto which is given a studied breadth which some critics consider saps the impetuous charge of the music. Certainly this is not rent-a-performance from Postnikova (Rozhdestvensky's wife) and you may well want another version alongside this one. However this is much better than good: idiosyncratic, strong and florid.
The Violin Concerto is distinguished by agreeably spotlit work for the woodwind and a soloist whose quick vibrato (no Boris Belkin he!) and close-up hoarse tone leaves you dry mouthed at the end of an adrenalin-wave performance. The orchestra and soloist seem to compete in the velocity of the outer movements. There is a measure of coarseness in the first movement and I wondered several times about unanimity and coordination between soloist and orchestra. This is a demerit though one of gaudy character rather than anonymous 'perfection'. Not to all tastes but a challenging counterbalance to convention. A less equivocal choice would be Oistrakh on BMG-Melodiya or at the other extreme the gloriously non-PC version by Campoli on Beulah.
-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International
Works on This Recording
Concerto for Piano no 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Viktoria Postnikova (Piano)
Vienna Symphony Orchestra
Length: 38 Minutes 25 Secs.
Notes: Composition written: Russia (1874 - 1875).
Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 35 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Ruggiero Ricci (Violin)
Netherlands Radio Symphony
Written: 1878; Russia
Length: 32 Minutes 8 Secs.
Notes: This selection is an ADD recording.
Piano Concerto No.1 in B flat minor, Op.23: 1. Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso - Allegro con spirito
Piano Concerto No.1 in B flat minor, Op.23: 2. Andantino semplice - Prestissimo - Tempo I
Piano Concerto No.1 in B flat minor, Op.23: 3. Allegro con fuoco
Violin Concerto in D, Op.35: 1. Allegro moderato
Violin Concerto in D, Op.35: 2. Canzonetta (Andante)
Violin Concerto in D, Op.35: 3. Finale (Allegro vivacissimo)
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