WORKS: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D flat, Op. 10; Romeo and Juliet Suite; Russian Easter Festival Overture; Romeo and Juliet
PERFORMER: Jorge Federico Osorio (piano), RPO, Mexico City PO/Enrique Bátiz
CATALOGUE NO: IMGCD 1612 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.
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