Peter Donohoe

Tchaikovsky: Complete Music for Piano and Orchestra; Violin Concerto; Rococo Variations

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

This three-disc EMI set of Tchaikovsky's complete music for piano and orchestra as well as the Violin Concerto and Rococo Variations is somewhat of a hit-and-miss compilation. Let's start with the hit. The second disc of the three contains the second and third piano concertos, performed by Peter Donohoe and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. The third concerto is a work that could be taken or left and has few supporters running to its defense. The second concerto, however, is quite a different story, and its musical merits are frequently debated. If more people heard Donohoe's performance of it, the debate would end. His unpretentious and unassuming approach to the concerto is enough to make listeners wonder why the second concerto is not heard more frequently. These same strengths, however, are a detriment when it comes to the first concerto. This piece, perhaps one of the most universally recognizable of all piano concertos, thrives on bombast and melodrama and Donohoe simply doesn't deliver on those expectations. The third disc includes Nigel Kennedy's interpretation of the Violin Concerto and Paul Tortelier's performance of Rococo Variations. Both of these recordings are sufficient but little more. Kennedy's playing is surprisingly lackluster, and the finale of the concerto is uncharacteristically reserved. Tortelier's playing in Rococo is shockingly out of tune and safe. All told, only one of three discs is truly remarkable; the remaining two could be done without.

blue highlight denotes track pick