Kirill Gerstein / James Gaffigan

Tchaikovsky 1; Prokofiev 2

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The selling point of this hybrid SACD on Myrios Classics is the world-premiere recording of the scholarly edition of Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, published by the Tchaikovsky Archive and Museum in Moscow, which restores the second version of 1879. Because the posthumous third edition of 1894 contains many unauthorized editorial changes, including different dynamic markings, transpositions of chords, and a cut in the Finale, the concerto hasn't been heard the way Tchaikovsky intended it since he conducted it in 1893, mere days before his death. Kirill Gerstein's lucid performance brings out many audible differences, and on the whole, the solo part is clearer and lighter, and the old canard that Tchaikovsky couldn't compose pianistically is decisively put to rest. The companion piece is Sergey Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, which Gerstein delivers with textural clarity and percussive brilliance. The accompaniment by the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester, under James Gaffigan, is on the understated side in both works, though the piano part is perfectly audible because of the orchestra's comparative restraint.

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