Oleg Marshev

Tchaikovsky: 3 Piano Concertos

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Though there are many recordings of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto superior to this one, there are few recordings of the Second or the completed Third Concerto as fine and hardly any recordings of the Concert Fantasia or the Allegro in C minor as capable. Because all these works -- that is, all the Russian composer's works for piano and orchestra -- are included on these two discs, this set will be particularly appealing to collectors interested in filling the holes on their shelves. Pianist Oleg Marshev is a brilliantly heroic soloist who plays these massively difficult works with unstoppable gusto. Plus, he has the soulfulness to play the works' lyric passages with sympathetic expression and the intelligence to hold both aspects of the works together in his cogent interpretations. Welsh conductor Owain Arwel Hughes and the Danish Ålborg Symphony Orchestra provide committed and colorful accompaniments, and if some might complain that they come close to dominating the pianist in climaxes, few would criticize the strength and solidity of their performances. Recorded in 2001 and 2002 and released on Danacord in 2007, the digital sound here is big and imposing, but with plenty of detail.

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