Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor; Andante cantabile (from String Quartet, Op. 11)

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COMPOSERS: Tchaikovsky
LABELS: IMP
WORKS: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor; Andante cantabile (from String Quartet, Op. 11)
PERFORMER: John Lill (piano) LSO/James Judd
CATALOGUE NO: PCD 893 DDD (1987)
Vanya who dreams of his sweetheart as he sits drinking is the sentiment of the Ukrainian folksong Tchaikovsky used for the slow movement of his D major String Quartet, Op. 11 (1871). So exquisite, it’s said to have reduced Tolstoy to tears, here it receives a distinguished performance from James Judd and the strings of the LSO, full of beautiful quality, phrasing and cadence. Lill’s account of the First Concerto – safe, unexciting, routine – is much less involving. He looks at the big moments but rarely takes them on. And he seems reluctant to generate any kind of electricity or emotional tension. The Russians, high on risk factor, can tell us other things about this music. Argerich, too. Indifferent sound engineering. Ates Orga

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