Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1; Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition

Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1; Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition

by Shura Cherkassky
     
 

Older listeners will remember Shura Cherkassky (1909-1995), one of the great Russian pianists of the middle years of the twentieth century. Younger listeners might remember Cherkassky as a very old man still making records. Very young listeners will probably not remember Cherkassky at all. And to those very young listeners, this recording of Cherkassky playing See more details below

Overview

Older listeners will remember Shura Cherkassky (1909-1995), one of the great Russian pianists of the middle years of the twentieth century. Younger listeners might remember Cherkassky as a very old man still making records. Very young listeners will probably not remember Cherkassky at all. And to those very young listeners, this recording of Cherkassky playing Tchaikovsky's "Piano Concerto No. 1" will be a revelation. Taped at Royal Festival Hall on January 30, 1968, with Georg Solti leading the London Symphony Orchestra, Cherkassky turns in one of the most exciting, the most delightful, the most soulful, and the most stirring performances of Tchaikovsky's war horse ever recorded. From the massive opening molto maestoso through the frenetic Allegro con spirito, the fantastic Prestissimo and the incandescent Allegro con fuoco, Cherkassky rips and roars in a piece that has been ridden nearly to death by generations of Russian bangers. But in 1968, Cherkassky was no banger, he was a transcendentally virtuosic pianist who can make even a war horse race to victory. But in 1982 when the rest of this disc was recorded, Cherkassky was not what he would have been. While the lyrical, the expressive, and the soulful parts of "Pictures at an Exhibition" are wonderful, the colorful, the monumental, and the technical parts are just this side of painful. Listen to "The Great Gates of Kiev": Cherkassky's tone is clangorous and chords are dangerously close to bombastic. BBC's 1968 sound is warm and round, but a bit distant, while its 1982 sound is hard and harsh and not distant enough.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/23/2004
Label:
Bbc Legends
UPC:
0684911416022
catalogNumber:
4160
Rank:
308316

Tracks

  1. Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23  - Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky  - Shura Cherkassky  -  London Symphony Orchestra  - John Patrick  - Georg Solti  - Stephen Wright
  2. Pictures at an Exhibition (Kartinki s vïstavski), for piano  - Modest Mussorgsky  - Shura Cherkassky  - John Patrick  - Stephen Wright
  3. Prelude Pathetique, for piano  - Shura Cherkassky  - Shura Cherkassky  - John Patrick  - Stephen Wright
  4. The Flight of the Bumble Bee, musical picture for orchestra (from The Tale of Tsar Saltan)  - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  - Shura Cherkassky  - John Patrick  - Stephen Wright

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