SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

PROKOFIEV: Symphony No. 1 “Classical”; Piano Sonata No. 7 in B Flat Major; Sonata for Cello and Piano; March from The Love of Three Oranges; TCHAIKOVSKY: Melodie; RACHMANINOFF: Vocalise – Polina Leschenko & Martha Argerich, pianos – Avanti Classic

Any chamber music recording with Martha Argerich is going to be first rate

Published on November 14, 2006

PROKOFIEV: Symphony No. 1 “Classical”; Piano Sonata No. 7 in B Flat Major; Sonata for Cello and Piano; March from The Love of Three Oranges; TCHAIKOVSKY: Melodie; RACHMANINOFF: Vocalise – Polina Leschenko & Martha Argerich, pianos – Avanti Classic
PROKOFIEV: Symphony No. 1 “Classical” (two-piano transcription); Piano Sonata No. 7 in B Flat Major; Sonata for Cello and Piano in C Major Op. 119; March from The Love of Three Oranges; TCHAIKOVSKY: Melodie; RACHMANINOFF: Vocalise – Polina Leschenko, piano/ Martha Argerich, piano/ Christian Poltera, cello/ Roby Lakatos, violin – Avanti Classic Multichannel SACD 5414706 10212, 1 hour *****:

You can almost be certain that any chamber music recording in which Martha Argerich is involved is going to be absolutely first rate. Not only is she one of the best piano soloists in the world today but her work with fellow chamber music players seems to raise all the other performances to the same brilliant level as her own. Young pianist Polina Leschenko also performs as a soloist internationally but chamber music is one of her preferred genres.

The transcription of the Classical Symphony by Rikuya Terashima is one of the most successful piano transcriptions of a symphony I’ve heard.  Probably the classical orientation of Prokofiev’s work aids the translation to the two pianos.  The works sounds as though it might have been written for two pianos originally; it just leaps out in its upbeat enthusiasm. Leschenko is on the left and Argerich on the right channel so you can make comparisons. Leschenko has the solo spot for a very forceful and virtuoso treatment of – at least for myself – the most exciting of the Prokofiev piano sonatas. The three little encores are played lovingly and not at all as throwaways. Sonics are richly natural and very cleanly reproduced. My recommendation!

- John Sunier




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