Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto

kissin image
DG 427485-2
The Tschaikowsky piano concerto is just as great as his violin concerto.  And to those who wondered when I would get around to these fantastic works here it is!  Peter's piano concerto is an interesting work and has been featured in all manner of animated shorts, TV programs, and a variety of other places.  The opening theme at the beginning is heard once and is never played again.  The opening theme lasts about a minute and then he moves on to bigger and better themes.  The CD I recommend is one that features a young Yevgeny Kissin.  Mr. Kissin is very talented and has a big curly bushy mop of hair that almost looks like an Afro.  He really does a super job in this 1989 recording with Herbert von Karajan conducting.  I think you will find this recording exciting, powerful in emotion and a real keeper.   It isn't often one finds a great recording, but here it is.

Now is the time to start stirring the pot so to speak.  As I continue down this road I am going to point out all manner of great things as we go.   Sort of a guided tour without the scripted droning of the tour guide.

Rachmaninov, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky

piano concerto image rachmaninov 2nd rach symp 2 grimaude
Philips 2PH 446673 Teldec 84376 Teldec 26869

The piano is a relatively modern instrument in it's present form.  While its predecessors may look similar, they certainly didn't sound the same.  Anyway the one composer that really wrote some powerful music for piano and orchestra was Sergei Rachmaninov.  Sergei was a man with rather large hands and he used that to his advantage.  Anyway his most popular works are his 2nd and 3rd piano concerto and his 2nd symphony.  For his piano concerto #3 I am going to recommend Martha Argerich on the Philips label 446 673-2 The sticker on the front of mine says "The Ultimate 3rd". Whoever put that on there is absolutely correct.  It is the ultimate 3rd and I have not heard better.  For Rachmaninov's 2nd I am going to recommend Helene Grimaude on the Teldec label.  The CD is 8573-84376-2.  It is excellent and I am sure you have heard parts of this before.  For his 3rd symphony I am going to recommend Telarc CD-80543.  There is a short piece at the end of the CD called Vocalise.  I know you have heard that.  As long as you are at it, you might as well get Beethovens piano concerto #4 with 2 piano sonatas.  I am sure you will have heard bits lifted from the third movement of this piano concerto. If memory serves me right, it has been used in British television series.  Teldec 3984-26869-2 is the CD to get.   Please read the liner notes on all of the CDs you have purchased.  It will give you more information on the artist, conductor. and the composer.