Prokofiev/Rimsky-Korsakov/Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D flat, Op. 10; Piano Concerto No. 3 in C, Op. 26

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COMPOSERS: Prokofiev/Rimsky-Korsakov/Tchaikovsky
LABELS: DG
WORKS: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D flat, Op. 10; Piano Concerto No. 3 in C, Op. 26
PERFORMER: Yevgeny Kissin (piano)Berlin PO/Claudio Abbado
CATALOGUE NO: 439 898-2 DDD
It is a cherished but dubious doctrine that a sharing of national origin with a composer gives an interpreter a special insight. However it happens, the young Russian Yevgeny Kissin scores highly in coupling Prokofiev’s youthful, spiky Piano Concerto No. 1 (1912) with the more mellow and popular No. 3. The latter comes in an infectiously exciting live recording – but with an oddity or two. In the first movement the curious failure to bring out the initial top G of a new orchestral theme (bar 69) is perhaps a fault of recording balance, but the loss of the flute’s grace notes in the theme of the second movement’s variations must be (dis)credited to Claudio Abbado as conductor.

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Alternatively, the Concerto No. 1 finds a no less dashing and debonair soloist in Osorio. Though he and his fellow-Mexican Bátiz may not bear prestigious names, their mid-price Russian mixed grill is highly recommendable. The concerto and the suite from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet were recorded in London; Rimsky’s Easter Overture (stunning sound) and Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet are reissues from Mexico City in the 1980s, and none the worse for that. Arthur Jacobs