Title - 'Tchaikovsky - Klavierkonzert No. 1' [Vinyl]
Artist - Yevgeny Kissin / Berliner Philharmoniker
For those not in the classical know, Evgeny Kissin is a Russian classical pianist who has been a British citizen since 2002 and an Israeli citizen since 2013.
He first came to international fame as a child prodigy and now with a wide repertoire behind him, he is especially known for his interpretations of the works of the Romantic era; particularly those of Frédéric Chopin, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Franz Liszt.
Indeed, he is commonly viewed as a great successor of the Russian piano school because of his virtuosity and powerful key touch.
In 1988 pianist Evgeny Kissin, then 17 years old, started his world career with an electrifying interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 at the Berliner Philharmoniker’s New Year’s Eve Concert.
The brilliance and youth of the gifted pianist were complemented with conductor Herbert von Karajan’s wisdom of age; it turned out to be one of the Maestro’s last recordings, he eventually died before it was released.
Released this month via Deutsche Grammophon, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 - aka Klavierkonzert No. 1 - is now out as a fabulous 180g vinyl.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 - 1893)
Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-Flat Minor, Op. 23, TH 55
1. 1. Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso - Allegro con spirito (23:41)
2. 2. Andantino semplice - Prestissimo - Tempo I (8:33)
3. 3. Allegro con fuoco (8:47)
Yevgeny Kissin, Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan
Alexander Scriabin (1872 - 1915)
4 Pieces, Op. 51
4. 1. Fragilité (2:32)
5. 2. Preludé (2:12)
6. 3. Poème ailé (1:07)
7. 4. Danse languide (1:25)
8 Études, Op. 42
8. No. 5 in C-Sharp Minor (3:34)
Like many other of my classical friends have pointed out over the years, the tempos here seemed slow at first. But, after comparison to the fifteen plus other versions that I have, I have come to the conclusion that this performance is the most musical.
I recently went to a concert with Stephen Hough playing with the Seattle Symphony and the tempos were so fast that you really missed the weight and emotional impact of the piece.
Thankfully, that is not the case here. The Berliner Philharmoniker, as one would fully expect, is full blooded and the piano playing is very impressive.
Personally, I love Kissin's playing. It is clear, like crystal and he does the rubato in just the right places to make it sound, well, simply perfect.
Perhaps there is a reason he has not made another recording of this piece: that he cannot surpass the musicality of this piece.
Karajan's Berlin strings positively mesmerizes. Sometimes their entries are so full of feeling that they nearly break your heart. Towards the end of Karajan's life, the strings are more beautiful, yes, but actually they were just that much more expressive.
Every violinist is doing vibrato to the extreme and so you get a tender, heart-wrenching sound out of all the players. I think this is what this piece called for and it is made so ethereal because of it.
Now on 180g vinyl, trust me when I tell you you will hear things in this recording you won't have heard, or picked up on, even on the multiple CD releases down the years. Here, well, those picked-up-on moments just seem much more, well, moving to the ensemble work overall.
Sure, the Van Cliburn/Kondrashin will always have its rightful place, but this is the recording I keep coming back to. I hope you do too once you go out and buy this brand new, and incredible 180g vinyl version from DG.
• 180g Vinyl LP
• Mastered from original sources
• Made in Germany
'Tchaikovsky - Klavierkonzert No. 1' [Vinyl] Purchase Link