Thursday, 23 May 2013

5. Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto no.1

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

This is one of the best recordings of a much loved piano concerto by Tchaikovsky. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was a Russian composer who composed three piano concertos. The first piano concerto is one of Tchaikovsky's most popular and appealing compositions. This concerto is also among the best known of all piano concertos and is therefore well worth knowing.

This concerto consists of three movements, as follows:
1. Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso – Allegro con spirito (fast, but not too much and very majestically/stately - fast with spirit)
2. Andantino semplice – Prestissimo (Slightly faster than walking, simple-Extremely fast)
3. Allegro con fuoco (Fast with fire)

Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto no.1 Martha Argerich

My favourite recording of this concerto is the live recording from 1980 with Martha Argerich on the piano and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kirill KondrashinIf you are looking for a pianist to discover and fall in love with, then Martha Argerich would be one of my top recommendations. Her discography is vast, impressive and consistently good (Martha Argerich Amazon Store: here). She has a reputation for renditions with drive, speed, dynamism and nobility. She has an ease of playing which makes even difficult passages appear effortless (see below video). Her live performance of the Tchaikovsky is exciting and gripping, full of risks, and endlessly rewarding.

For immediate appeal go straight to the last movement to experience some of the speed, fury and excitement that Martha Argerich is so adept at delivering.

Agree or disagree? Share your favourite recording or thoughts in the comments below.

Links to the recording:


Spotify: Tracks 4-6

Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3 & Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 - Kyril Kondrashin, Radio Symphony Orchestra of Berlin, Riccardo Chailly & Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks USA store

Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 3 & Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 - Martha Argerich, Kyril Kondrashin, Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Riccardo Chailly & Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks UK store

Below is an excellent 1975 performance by Martha Argerich and Orchestre De La Suisse Romande conducted by Charles Dutoit.

Post a Comment