Tchaikovsky: The Seasons; Piano Sonata in G

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Tchaikovsky
LABELS: United
WORKS: The Seasons; Piano Sonata in G
PERFORMER: Angela Brownridge (piano)
Tchaikovsky’s Piano Sonata in G isn’t as bad as his biographer David Brown says, but it does need a more spirited, extrovert interpretation than it gets here. True, the music is sometimes repetitive to the point of absurdity, but the basic ideas are full of vitality, and the only thing to do is to follow through Tchaikovsky’s treatment of them as if you believe not a note is superfluous. Angela Brownridge allows too many notes to look after themselves, as if she’s not convinced they have much life in them anyway. Nor, in The Seasons (actually the 12 months), does she muster much joie-de-vivre for the festivities of ‘Carnival Time’ (February), ‘Harvest’ (August) or ‘Hunting’ (September), though she is touching in the melancholy numbers. Barry Douglas (RCA) is the best bet for the Sonata, Pletnev (Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga) for The Seasons, unless you’re allergic to his mannerisms. Adrian Jack