This album by pianist Pavlina Dokovska and the Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra under Vladimir Ghiaurov focuses on the first contributions to the piano concerto literature by Liszt, Scriabin, and Prokofiev. Although the three concertos have some structural and formal similarities, they vastly differ in the types of technical and musical demands made on both soloist and orchestra. The strongest performance is given at the beginning of the album with the Liszt E flat major Concerto. Here, all members involved present a unified musical picture; dialogue between the orchestra and soloist is fluid and the balance between the two is generally good. The Scriabin concerto is quite a different story. Here, the orchestra sounds extremely insecure in the execution of its parts; intonation and sound quality issues pop up amid a backdrop that should be smooth and velvety. The solo part also sounds as difficult as it is, and the dialogue between piano and orchestra suffers as a result. The Prokofiev D flat major Concerto again shows Dokovska in complete control of her part both musically and technically. This time, it is only the orchestra that seems to lag behind and have difficulty matching the musical thoughts being put out by the soloist. Intonation problems are more frequent here than in the Scriabin, particularly in the wind section. With only one solid performance out of three, listeners may be better off searching for superior a la carte performances of these three concertos.
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AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell
|Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S. 124 (LW H4)|
|Piano Concerto in F sharp minor, Op. 20|
|Piano Concerto No. 1 in D flat major, Op. 10|