Volume 20 of the Günter Wand Edition presents two popular Russian classics, Piotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, and Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, as orchestrated by Maurice Ravel. The Tchaikovsky concerto features the great virtuoso Jorge Bolet as soloist, and his dynamic performance dates from 1985, while the Mussorgsky work was recorded by Wand and the NDR Symphony Orchestra in 1982. Both live performances were captured with early digital technology, so while the sound is detailed and clean, it is a little lacking in warmth, and the stereo reproduction seems shallow in its dimensions. The orchestra at times rises to a fully vibrant and rich sound, but the limited audio range sometimes makes solos seem thin or distant, and the overall presence of the ensemble seems diminished. Still, for admirers of Wand and Bolet, this disc will be a welcome addition to their collections, and newcomers can still get a lot out of the performances, even though the sound is typical of its time.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, for piano and orchestra, Op. 23|
|Pictures at an Exhibition|