Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Cherkassky & Rimsky-Korsakov

COMPOSERS: Cherkassky & Rimsky-Korsakov,Mussorgsky,Tchaikovsky
ALBUM TITLE: Shura Cherkassky
WORKS: Works by Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Cherkassky & Rimsky-Korsakov
PERFORMER: Shura Cherkassky (piano); LSO/Georg Solti
Shura Cherkassky (1909-95) stems from a different branch of Romantic pianism. Like his teacher Josef Hofmann he valued spontaneity in voicing, tempo, dynamics, phrasing and other parameters, and Cherkassky’s own unique sense of whimsy tends to cajole his audience into enjoying each moment rather than listening for long-range strategy. If viscerally exciting moments of Pictures at an Exhibition in this 1982 concert performance have something of a casual feeling about them, the quieter sections contain much piquant colour, and Cherkassky’s kaleidoscopic imagination extends to a dynamically inventive final chord. The combination of Cherkassky’s capriciousness and Georg Solti’s blunter energy might seem an incongruous pairing for the Tchaikovsky First Concerto, but apart from a few divergences in ensemble this performance is a reasonable one, if not nearly the satisfying collaboration that Cherkassky’s 1951 recording with Leopold Ludwig represents (Philips).