SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

**** MULTICHANNEL DISC OF THE MONTH ***** TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto in D Major; Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor – Christian Tetzlaff/violin Nikolai Lugansky/piano Russian National Orchestra/Kent Nagano – Pentatone

Grand readings of Tchaikovsky's two big concertos, in grand hi-res surround

Published on August 7, 2005

**** MULTICHANNEL DISC OF THE MONTH ***** 

TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto in D Major; Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor – Christian Tetzlaff/violin Nikolai Lugansky/piano Russian National Orchestra/Kent Nagano – Pentatone
***** MULTICHANNEL DISC OF THE MONTH *****

TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35; Piano Concerto No. 1
in B-flat Minor, Op. 23 – Christian Tetzlaff/violin Nikolai
Lugansky/piano Russian National Orchestra/Kent Nagano – PentaTone
Multichannel SACD PTC 5186 022  67:50****:

Alternately spitfire and grand readings from 2003 of two Tchaikovsky
staples, with Kent Nagano leading the Russian National Orchestra,
itself a virtuoso ensemble organized by Mikhail Pletnev and Vladmir
Spivakov. We can thank Balance Engineer Erdo Groot for the mutichannel
entries by flute and bassoon as Tetzlaff applies his take-no-prisoners
pyrotechnics to the Tchaikovsky D Major Concerto.  A rendition of
singular focus and poised dynamics, the Tetzlaff performance reminds me
of many a streamlined realization from Nathan Milstein, who also drove
the figures with a kind of relentless intimacy. Tetzlaff’s often
rasping tone can dig a bit deeper than some other violinists, again in
a manner that takes me back to the bravura style of Guila Bustabo.
Maintaining many of Tchaikovsky’s often redundant repeats in the
Allegro vivacissimo finale, Tetzaff and Nagano make plenty of musical
sparks, even while woodwinds do their curlicues in magnificent surround
sound.

If Tetzlaff and Nagano apply the afterburners for the Violin Concerto,
Lugansky and Nagano take the dreamscape for their model of the Piano
Concerto’s spacious opening, allowing the piano to bask in the rolling
arpeggios and the pizzicati from the strings. Once the tempo is set,
Lugansky take the twice-repeated figures (a la Schumann) on a leisurely
tour with sporadic bursts of fiery passion. Separation between piano
and woodwinds is especially clean and pointed, and the actual piano
recording is reverberant without accumulating any ping or wobble in the
upper registers. As for Nagano, he has the explosive temperament of
Karajan and a warmer sound. His urging of brass and tympani, then the
subito to the winds and strings under the keyboard part is quite
impressive. Lugansky may well be the natural successor to Lazar Berman,
the perfect combination of muscle and poetry, athleticism and polished
lyricism. Listen to the crystalline runs in the first movement cadenza
and then the block octaves to the finale’s rush to judgment in the coda
of the last movement!

–Gary Lemco




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