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Piano Concertos Nos. 1; 2 & 3; Concert Fantasy for piano & orchestra; Philharmonia/ Fedoseyev /Pletnev (piano)
Virgin Classics VBD5614632
 Amazon UK  Amazon USA

I have reviewed for Seen&Heard [May 2000, q.v.] two concerts in which Mikhail Pletnev played the complete works of Tchaikowsky for piano and orchestra. In connection with this concert series I have had a brief opportunity to sample Pletnev's CDs, again with the Philharmonia, but conducted by Vladimir Fedoseyev, who appears to have enjoyed an equally close and sympathetic rapport with his soloist as did Vladimir Conta in the live concerts. So far as I can work it out, although all of the concertos (except for the Concert Phantasy, recorded at Walthamstow) were recorded in Abbey Road Studio 1, the set-ups differed slightly between sessions, as do the levels on the CDs. No 3, to which I listened first, surprised me pleasantly by replicating very much a concert perspective, albeit it in a rather reverberant acoustic, but the sort of sound which must have been common in 19th C. concert halls. The balance is very similar to that heard at RFH, so that the piano emerges from within the orchestra in a realistic way which is all too uncommon in studio CDs. I have enjoyed these recordings hugely. The notes are somewhat perfunctory, and perhaps another reviewer will evaluate the competition, but this double CD is being sold surprisingly inexpensively, and should be snapped up even if you have other versions.


Peter Grahame Woolf



Peter Grahame Woolf

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