Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Prokofiev,Tchaikovsky
LABELS: Chandos Collect
WORKS: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor
PERFORMER: Terence Judd (piano); Moscow PO/Alexander Lazarev
CATALOGUE NO: CHAN 9913 ADD Reissue (1978)
There are several curious parallels between 1978 Tchaikovsky Competition prizewinner Judd and the American whizz-kid William Kapell, whose scintillating approach to Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto came top of my list in Building a Library (July). Both died tragically young – Judd at the age of 22 – after achieving a fame which had less to do with their phenomenal technique than with the astonishingly mature way they handled it; and Judd’s account of the Prokofiev runs Kapell very close for effortless bravura and sparkle – indeed it is the only other performance I have heard which catches fire like Kapell’s far from flawless live recording with Stokowski in the charge to the finishing-post. If anything, Judd boasted even greater weight, though he never overdoes it in the Tchaikovsky. It’s a pity the Russian engineers couldn’t cope with dynamics above mezzo-forte, but never mind: this remains a vital document of an unrepeatable occasion. David Nice