- Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23
- The Swan Lake, ballet, Op. 20: Dance of the Four Swans
- Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26
This 2014 Decca release of two famous Russian piano concertos, Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky's "Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor" and Sergey Prokofiev's "Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major," cannot be faulted for a lack of practice, because Behzod Abduraimov has played these works on numerous occasions. In 2009, he won the London International Piano Competition with his fiery reading of the Prokofiev, and in 2014 he took the Tchaikovsky on tour internationally, so there's only a question of how fresh the playing can be after numerous performances. Chalk it up to youthful resilience or personal charisma, but Abduraimov shows abundant energy and brilliance, qualities that aren't worn down by the physical demands of these works. If anything, he appears to relish the opportunity to play them with different conductors and orchestras, each time giving his all in collaborative efforts that have won critical praise everywhere he has performed. These recordings with Juraj Valcuha and the RAI National Symphony Orchestra are presumably typical of the successful interactions Abduraimov has had, and this exciting album preserves what is surely a remarkable period in this active virtuoso's career. For a brief interlude between the concertos, Abduraimov plays Earl Wild's flashy transcription of the Dance of the Four Swans from "Swan Lake," to give a solo demonstration of his own prestidigitation. But there is more than enough dazzling fingerwork in the concertos to convince anyone that Abduraimov has the skills to give them bravura performances, anytime and anywhere.