Performer: Denis Matsuev
Orchestra: St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Yuri Temirkanov
Composer: Dmitry Shostakovich, Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 1
Size: 224 MB
01. P. Tchaikovsky – Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 23 in B-Flat Minor: Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso
02. P. Tchaikovsky – Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 23 in B-Flat Minor: Andantino semplice
03. P. Tchaikovsky – Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 23 in B-Flat Minor: Allegro con fuoco
04. D. Shostakovich – Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 35: Allegro moderato
05. D. Shostakovich – Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 35: Lento
06. D. Shostakovich – Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 35: Moderato
Denis Matsuev is one of the most gifted musicians of his generation (an not only). His solo recitals or appearances with orchestra are special events for audience world-over. His fans are delighted by his technical prowess which allows Matsuev to tackle the most demanding pieces with an astounding naturalness and effectiveness. No less, his musical sensitivity helps in getting impressive, authoritative accounts especially when it comes to virtuosity work, inaccessible for other top-pianists. Matsuev’s renditions of celebrated masterpieces in the piano repertory gain a spectacular freshness due to his preconception-less reading. It is the case here with two of the Russian warhorses in the concertante literature: piano concertos no.1 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Dmitri Shostakovich, respectively. Such a maestro as Yuri Temirkanov with his St.Petersburg Philharmonic is always a precious partner. Matsuev’s dialogue with the orchestra – and what a fabulous orchestra! – is never shy or overwhelmed, but inspired and inspirational. There is a flux of true music which settles the mood, marking the borders of wonderful worlds, suggesting a myriad of feelings. The Tchaikovsky concerto is full of bravura and melancholy in Matsuev’s hands. He seems to play not merely the notes in the score, but our emotions, our soul’s dispositions, our aspirations and fears. In Shostakovich the approach is more technical, but the musical equilibrium is perfect, rather geometrical I would say. The trumpet of Igor Sharapov (Honoured Artist of Russia) plays a crucial role in this concerto and pairs efficiently the soloist’s trajectory.
Al in all, a marvellous account of a slice of Russian repertory played by world-famous Russian artists!
Well, the Warped Reviewer strikes again!
In my very first review I mentioned that in my own database I rate all my CDs on a scale of from 1-11 for both sound and performance. So, I’m tailoring my reviews to Amazon’s “one track mind scale of from 1-5”. By my scale it gets an 11 for both sound and performance. So, it gets a “5” by Amazon’e standards. I need to make a point about Sound: it’s for Soundstaging (width & depth of performances in the recording venue), Imaging (can you picture where everyone is along with their instruments or voices within the soundstage) and Tone (do the instruments, whether voical or instrumental sound right or is there a haze or some other impurity to the sound; the worse the sound the worse the performance may seem even if it is very good, as you may not be able to make heads or tails of everything you hear in the performance).
So, here we have wonderfully rich sound; a great soundstage and I love that both the pianist and orchestra can be heard so clearly within the soundstage which makes hearing the performance that much more enjoyable. At first I had some hesitations about this disc as I was more used to some older recordings with a slightly different perspective. But, now that I can hear everything and clearly I can say that both Sound and Performance are a delight. Temirkanov, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic and pianist Denis Matsuev all aquit themselves admirably. And, RCA is to be congragulated on their fine effort in recording these magnificent works. Although I’ve heard the Tchaikovsky many times on WFMT FM classical radio here in Chicago, I must say that this is probably the finest sound on any Tchaikovsky 1st I’ve ever heard. I now have two versions of the Shostakovich 1st and both are equally fine, although I admit that since I’d had the Rosenberger on Delos for a long time and loved it, it did take awhile to chip away at my prejudices on its behalf, but this group of fine musicians did just that. So, if you want a feast of great sound and music making then by all means get this cd.