LABELS: BMG Melodiya
WORKS: Three Movements from Petrushka; Pictures at an Exhibition; Prelude and Fugue in B flat, Op. 87/21; Hungarian Rhapsody No. 9; Shchedrin (arr. Pletnev): Anna Karenina (excerpts)
PERFORMER: Misha Dichter, Barry Douglas, Mikhail Pletnev (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 74321 52959 2 ADD Reissue (1966-86)
A big dose of piano-bashing, recorded live, with overwhelming fidelity until an engineer decided discretion was called for towards the end of Barry Douglas’s beefy (but scrupulous) account of Pictures. Winner in 1986, Douglas is the latest represented here. The American Misha Dichter came second in 1966, to Grigory Sokolov, who could hardly have been more powerful than Dichter in Petrushka.
The piano sound is thinner, more clangy, in Pletnev’s characteristically wicked, sensationalist performances from 1978, ending with a grotesque bit of pictorialism by the contemporary Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin. The disc reinforces the impression that this competition favours athletic heavyweights. Adrian Jack