Khachaturian: Piano Concerto; Concert Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Khachaturian
WORKS: Piano Concerto; Concert Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra
PERFORMER: Oxana Yablonskaya (piano) Moscow SO/Dmitri Yablonsky
CATALOGUE NO: 8.550799
Khachaturian’s Piano Concerto (1936) was once immensely popular. Little wonder, for it is written in the grand Romantic tradition of Liszt, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov with echoes of Gershwin in the finale. Yablonskaya has plenty of dash and sparkle. She approaches these dazzling, exciting works with passion and sensitivity and all the power and stamina of an athlete in peak condition. There is no doubt that this is a Russian orchestra playing Russian music; Yablonsky emphasises all the little twists and felicities of the Armenian folk music and oriental material in the score. His accompaniment in the Concerto’s finale is electrifying indeed; but marginally I prefer Orbelian’s poetry with Järvi’s sheer exuberance on Chandos in superior sound. Ian Lace