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  PentaTone Classics -
  PTC 5186 022
  Tchaikovsky: Violin/Piano Concertos - Nagano
  Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D Op. 35, Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor Op. 23

Christian Tetzlaff (violin)
Nikolai Lugansky (piano)
Russian National Orchestra
Kent Nagano (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:
  Recording Producer: Wilhelm Hellweg
Executive Producer: Job Maarse
Balance Engineer: Erdo Groot
Recording Engineer: Roger de Schot
Editing: Alfredo Lasheras, Holger Busse, Sebastian Stein, Carl Schuurbiers
Recorded February 2003 at the Concert Hall of the Moscow Conservatory
Recording Facility: Polyhymnia International BV

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Reviews: 4 show all

Review by Dinko October 4, 2003 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
A mixed bag.

These two performances have something in common: they both come off as heavier than other versions.

Christian Tetzlaff's reading of the violin concerto is heavier and more muscular than say Isaac Stern's account with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Similarly, Nikolai Lugansky's piano playing comes off as stronger and somewhat more barbaric than Lang Lang's recent account (with Daniel barenboim and the Chicago Symphony).

The approaches have their merits and they work well together. Kent Nagano and the Russian National Orchestra contribute good support to the soloists.

In stereo mode, the recordings do not compare too well with the competition. There is decent detail, though there could be more of it. The performances sound tight, too tight even. There is a certain constipation about the strings in the piano concerto. Comparing them to the CD version of the Lang Lang recording, the Russian strings just don't have a very wide sound stage. The Lang/Barenboim/Chicago recording has a lighter tone, but also a wider sonic picture. I find similar complaints about the violin concerto, which sounds restricted in depth and width when compared to the Stern/Ormandy/Philadelphia disc.

The booklet notes state: "[Polyhymnia] is one of the worldwide leaders in producing high-resolution surround sound recordings for SACD and DVD-Audio." This is where the recording truly succeeds: the surround program.
In multichannel mode, the Russian strings just soar. The opening of the piano concerto is no longer tight or constricted, it is wide and open. The strings gain in depth, and almost remind me of the great Philadelphia Orchestra string sound. Both Tetzlaff and Lugansky are balanced in a more natural setting alongside the orchestra. I find myself fully absorbed by the surround experience, almost as much as attending a live concert.

(NB: 4-star rating of sonics only accounts for multichannel sonic quality. I prefer to not take account of the stereo version in my rating)

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Review by andrewb February 17, 2006 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
The violin concerto, placed first on this disc, is for me the most enjoyable piece. It is played in a very natural manner without any excessive glitz or over indulgence. There is a good balance between soloist and orchestra, with the violin placed just in front of the orchestra. The performance needs to be listened to a few times before one appreciates its qualities.

The piano concerto I have not enjoyed quite so much, it is a more forceful performance, and there is a lot of competition in this style. Still it is good and with fine recording quality. The piano sound is more forward than that of the soloist in the violin concerto: I think too much so.

On balance a good disc, which I would recommend there are plenty of other recordings in these works but these are competitive with the best.

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Review by Boelie October 5, 2003 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I'd have to agree with Dinko here, it's a good and energetic performance but the recording can be best listened in surround mode. Only then the performance really comes alive and can be enjoyed most. I personaly think that you have to turn the amp up a little more than usual to fully let the dynamics of the orchestra and instruments come to its right when they play forte. For sonics I'd give 4 out of 5 for the surround version, for the stereo version 3. I was very fond of a old recording (performance wise) of the violin concerto by Kyung Wha Chung. But Christian Tetzlaff also does very well especially the second part and therefore gets 4 out of 5.

Even more so than for the violin concerto the piano concerto is especially to be listened at in surround. This can be especially heard in the opening of the first part. But I have to say that I'm already getting fond of this one, it's a good SURROUND sacd.

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Works: 2  

Peter Tchaikovsky - Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, TH 55 Op. 23
Peter Tchaikovsky - Violin Concerto in D major, TH 59 Op. 35