Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23

This page lists all recordings of Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23, by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-93) on CD, SACD, DVD, Blu-ray & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.

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András Schiff on the V International Tchaikovsky Competition (Live)

András Schiff on the V International Tchaikovsky Competition (Live)


Brahms:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15

Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra, Dmitry Kitayenko

Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24

Liszt:

La leggierezza - Étude de concert No. 2, S144

Pirumov:

Scherzo for piano

Prokofiev:

Piano Sonata No. 3 in A minor, Op. 28

Rachmaninov:

Étude-Tableau, Op. 33 No. 7 in E flat major (published as No. 4)

Shostakovich:

Prelude & Fugue for piano, Op. 87 No. 15 in D flat major

Tchaikovsky:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23

Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra, Dmitry Kitayenko

Theme & Variations (No. 6 from Morceaux (6), Op. 19)


Firma Melodiya presents never-before-released recordings of András Schiff made at the V Tchaikovsky International Competition in 1974.

One of the most prominent pianists of modern times, András Schiff is nevertheless does not belong to the so-called competition format. The musician who earned the pedestal of philosopher pianist, “a representative of intellectual musical tradition in its high apprehension,” has never had virtuosity, sonic lustre and visual artistry in his sphere of interests.

However, the live recordings of the then 21-year-old Hungarian are of unquestionable interest. Soviet music critic Leonid Gakkel described his impressions of Schiff’s performance in the following way: “From his very first note at the competition Schiff struck me with the vigour of his performance, and that was vigour of the highest festivity… What a touch on the piano, what a charge of energy, what burning fingers! Ultimate activity of a creating spirit at each moment of playing…”

At the competition, Schiff played piano works by Rachmaninoff, Liszt, Prokofiev and Shostakovich, variation cycles and concertos by Tchaikovsky and Brahms. In the opinion of Yevgeny Malinin, a competent judge and professor of the Moscow Conservatory, Schiff “read music without a drop of wilfulness: he lived in and with it.” The panel gave him only the fourth prize (“incomplete correspondence” with general virtuosity and competition standards had an impact). However, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that it was the Tchaikovsky Competition that brought the first significant success and international repute to the outstanding pianist.

“It's especially fascinating to hear the youthful Schiff tackle 20th-century Russian repertory. The two live performances are very exciting, but the orchestra is all over the place in the Brahms.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2017 ****

“Schiff shows himself, at the start of his career, as a virtuoso in the only sense that matters: everything possesses ‘the breath of life’ (Liszt), is brilliantly lit and the reverse of note-spinning…This is an absorbing issue and should be heard by those in particular who think they know the full range of Schiff’s art.” International Piano, May 2017 ****

“The 20-year-old András Schiff giving glimpses of his true potential at the 1974 Tchaikovsky International Competition.” MusicWeb International, 17th January 2017

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Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto

Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto


Tchaikovsky:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23

Alexandra Dariescu (piano)

The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a


Alexandra Dariescu makes her concerto recording debut on Signum with Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Darrell Ang, pairing this with Mikhail Pletnev’s concert suite of arrangements from 'The Nutcracker'.

Alexandra Dariescu has garnered an impressive reputation for her outstanding solo recordings and concert performances, and was recently named as one of 30 pianists under 30 destined for a spectacular career in the International Piano Magazine.

“Dariescu has plenty of power and agility, but she deplys them strictly for the sake of the music rather than for her own glory. Above all she knows how to shape lines by means of tactical withdrawal of lighter elements in a phrase…richly satisfying.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2017

“Ang and Dariescu’s approach to the concerto’s famous opening points to an urgent and incisive reading. And that’s how it continues. I was particularly impressed by the pianist’s firm control of the notes and the conductor’s diligent, entirely supportive accompaniment … If there’s one word that sums up this album for me it’s modesty; indeed, the concerto succeeds precisely because it doesn’t attempt to storm that daunting summit.” MusicWeb International, 9th November 2016

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Tchaikovsky & Grieg: Piano Concertos

Tchaikovsky & Grieg: Piano Concertos


Grieg:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16

Tchaikovsky:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23


This new PENTATONE release of Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23 marks the start of the musical collaboration between the label and the young Russian pianist Denis Kozhukhin. Kozhukhin established himself on the international concert scene after winning prizes at the 2006 Leeds International Piano Competition, as well as the 2010 Queen Elisabeth Competition.

‘I am thrilled to have the opportunity to record repertoire that has played a significant part in my musical life’ says Kozhukhin about this recording, made with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, conducted by Vassily Sinaisky. Kozhukhin chose two concertos that against all odds, both turned out to become “virtuoso warhorses”. Grieg is known as a composer with a focus on the more intimate musical genres. His first attempt to compose in a more extensive musical genre, resulted in a symphony of which Grieg himself said it “should never be performed...”. His other attempt however, the Piano Concerto in A minor, brought him world-wide success. Until Tchaikovsky started writing his first piano concerto, piano music had only been of secondary interest to him. As he himself put it: “Basically, I am inflicting violence upon myself by forcing my brain to come up with piano passages”. After seeking professional advice on the composition with his friend and excellent pianist Nikolaj Rubinstein, the latter basically massacred the piece and refused to première it. Fortunately Tchaikovsky then decided to dedicate it to German pianist Hans von Bülow, who later on gave it its triumphant première. Nowadays these two concertos rank among the most magical in the piano repertoire.

“Out of repertory that has been celebrated, picked over and just about played to death over the course of almost a century and a half, they create magic…of course, this could only be achieved by deeply cultivated musical instincts and a technique as developed and varied as it is unobtrusive. His inerrant rhythmic sense is pliant yet taut; his sound unalloyed silver. Listening to Kozhukhin, you’re left with one thing: the music – incontestable, complete” Gramophone Magazine, May 2016

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Prokofiev & Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos

Prokofiev & Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos


Prokofiev:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 16

Tchaikovsky:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23


Beatrice Rana talks to Presto Classical's Katherine Cooper about the recording here.

At just 22, Beatrice Rana has already made a big splash on the international scene. Winning the 1st Prize and all special prizes at the Montreal International competition in 2011 at the age of 18, was followed in June 2013 with winning the Silver Medal and the Audience Award at the prestigious Van Cliburn competition. She is already a seasoned performer, having made her orchestral debuts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Santa-Cecilia Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, RAI Symphony Torino, Dresdner Philharmonie, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, and Filharmonica della Scala, performing in halls including the Zurich Tonhalle, Vienna Konzerthaus, Wigmore Hall, Kennedy Center, Laeiszhalle, and Walt Disney Hall.

In a testament to her musical maturity and the high quality of her playing, she is accompanied on her debut Warner Classics release by Italy’s finest orchestra, the Orchestra Dell’accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia, under their Music Director Sir Antonio Pappano. This album is a tour de force, demonstrating the very best of Italian musicianship today.

“[the Prokofiev] presents formidable technical challenges, all of which are surmounted almost with nonchalance, the pianist's focus resolutely serving the score, not the mechanisms involved in performing it. She has a particularly rewarding sense of rhythm, high sprung, light and incisive and entirely secure…[there is] no doubt that this is a young pianist to be watched” BBC Music Magazine, February 2016 *****

“Rana is fierce! And not only as a pianist but as a fully developed artist of a stature that belies her tender years. You don’t want to miss her concerto debut, held aloft in inimitable style by Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. This is a Prokofiev Second to conjure with: shapely, subtle, nuanced, musical in every detail.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2015

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Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 & Concert Fantasy

Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 & Concert Fantasy


Tchaikovsky:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23

New Symphony Orchestra of London, Edric Cundell

Concert Fantasy, Op. 56

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult


Peter Katin (piano)

On this reissue, Tchaikovsky’s ever-popular Piano Concerto No. 1 is coupled with a relative rarity – the Concert Fantasy. Peter Katin was not the first pianist to make a studio recording of Tchaikovksy’s Concert Fantasy – that honour went to Tatiana Nikolayeva in 1950 – but his 1958 recording with Sir Adrian Boult was the first in stereo. Katin, who was born in London in 1930 and died on 19 March 2015 at the age of 84 studied at the Royal Academy of Music, and made his professional debut in Wigmore Hall when he was eighteen. He is associated with the Romantic repertoire, particularly with Chopin, but also is admired for his performances of music by Mozart and Schubert. His extensive discography includes not only performances on modern pianos, but also several recordings made on restored period instruments, in which he developed a strong interest, later in his career. These Tchaikovsky recordings receive their first release on Decca CD.

“the orchestra does well, and Katin gives us the fine clarity and control which always distinguish his playing” Gramophone Magazine, January 1959 (Concert Fantasy)

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The Chungs play Tchaikovsky & Beethoven

The Chungs play Tchaikovsky & Beethoven


Beethoven:

Triple Concerto for Piano, Violin, and Cello in C major, Op. 56

Kyung-Wha Chung (violin), Myung-Wha Chung (cello) & Myung-Whun Chung (piano & conductor)

Philharmonia Orchestra

Tchaikovsky:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23

Myung-Whun Chung (piano)

Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Charles Dutoit

Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33

Myung-Wha Chung (cello)

Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Charles Dutoit

Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35

Myung-Wha Chung (cello)

Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Charles Dutoit


Most parents will assert that siblings do not always play well together, but classical music gives many examples to the contrary. Although violinist Yehudi Menuhin was the most famous member of his family, he performed and made several recordings with his sisters, Hephzibah and Yaltah, both pianists. (Pianist Marcel Ciampi, who taught both sisters, remarked that their mother’s womb ‘was a veritable conservatory’.)

This 2CD set brings together the Tchaikovsky recordings made individually by the three members of the Chung Trio – all, of course, outstanding musicians in their own right. All are partnered by Charles Dutoit, and the recordings of the Piano Concerto and the Rococo Variations appear internationally on CD for the first time. Myung-Whun Chung is featured in the dual roles of conductor and pianist in the recording of Beethoven’s ‘Triple’ Concerto.

“in a consistently refreshing and poetic reading of a warhorse concerto [Myung-Whun Chung] shows that his keyboard technique is as formidable as when he was a prizewinner in the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. […] The power of the playing is never in doubt […] the central prestissimo [in the second movement] has rarely been recorded with a more genuine pianissimo. The finale sparkles’ (Piano Concerto) […] an exquisitely beautiful account of the loveliest variation of all, the Andante sotenuto” Gramophone Magazine, March 1981 (Rococo Variations)

“exuberant […] Chung adds even more fizz to the Tchaikovsky than she did on her glowing version with Prevn right at the beginning of her career” Gramophone Magazine, December 1983 (Violin Concerto)

“The Chungs make a characterful trio and give a very fine account of the Triple Concerto which conveys a feeling of spontaneous chamber-playing, with the finale taken thrillingly fast, with sparkling results” Penguin Guide, 2005

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Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2

Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2


Tchaikovsky:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23

Piano Concerto No. 2 in G major, Op. 44


Tchaikovsky’s evergreen First Piano Concerto has long overshadowed the even more virtuosic Second, which is a great shame, as it is every bit as tuneful and rewarding as its famous sibling.

"The piano part is a strenuous workout for the soloist. Mr Trpceski admirably conquered its myriad technical difficulties, which surpass that of the First Concerto. He played with virtuoso panache in the many bravura passages and with an elegant touch in more introverted moments." New York Times

"It is not simply that Simon Trpceski has a phenomenal technique. Crucially he has the musical intelligence to know how to apply it and at the same can convey such joy in doing so." The Daily Telegraph

This disc marks the debut on ONYX of Simon Trpceski, the RLPO and Vasily Petrenko. The orchestra and Petrenko will embark on an Elgar cycle for ONYX with Symphony No.1 being released in February 2015.

“[In No. 2] Trpčeski begins like a racehorse out of the starting gate...Still, overall he sounds less impetuous and more poised than Denis Matsuev in his recent recording...Petrenko is always of a mind with his soloist, and shapes some powerful long crescendos, but lets the orchestra veer dangerously close to bombast.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2014 ***

“Trpčeski’s light, silvery touch lightens up so much of a work which, as Matsuev revealed, can become bombastic...Their account of the First Concerto is very fine without sweeping all before it; it’s the Second that should have been the highpoint, and there is not enough of it.” The Guardian, 18th September 2014 ***

“Trpceski’s take on the B flat minor dazzles.” Sunday Times, 5th October 2014

“They are best of all in the slow movement, which is delicately phrased and delicately played, with some beautiful piano turns and some gorgeously sensitive orchestral playing too.” MusicWeb International

“Simon Trpceski and Vasily Petrenko have recorded some hard-hitting Rachmaninov concertos, and they employ the same iron fist approach in this new Tchaikovsky release.” Pianist Magazine, December 2014

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Tchaikovsky & Liszt: Piano Concertos

Tchaikovsky & Liszt: Piano Concertos


Liszt:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S124

Wiener Symphoniker, Carlo Maria Giulini

Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major, S125

Wiener Symphoniker, Carlo Maria Giulini

Tchaikovsky:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23

Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan


Lazar Berman (piano)

Lazar Berman, a bear of a man whom The Times of London called ‘one of the last unabashed exponents of the Romantic tradition of Russian pianism’, was known for the power of his playing and for his prodigious technique, but was also capable of great delicacy at the keyboard. The core of his repertoire was the great Romantic and post-Romantic works, from Beethoven to Prokofiev and Shostakovich. Emil Gilels referred to him as a ‘phenomenon of the musical world’. Eloquence presents his complete Deutsche Grammophon recordings over five titles.

The issue of his 1963 recording of Liszt’s Transcendental Études in the West created a sensation, and he sold out houses wherever he played. These successes led to his recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, beginning with the Tchaikovsky First Concerto with Herbert von Karajan. Berman said he liked to take a romantic approach to the classical repertoire and a classical approach to the romantic. When asked why he had suddenly changed his approach to the Tchaikovsky to a more lyrical one, Berman told Gramophone’s Alan Blyth, ‘Well, it wasn’t my choice but the composer’s: I used to play the piece as most pianists play it. Then I did a lot of research into how it had been interpreted in the composer’s own time. It changed my approach entirely.’ And speaking on the subject with High Fidelity’s Barry James, ‘I’ve changed my views about Tchaikovsky. I’ve dropped the bravura interpretation of the First Concerto. I’ve read a lot of his writings and I think I understand his soul. Tchaikovsky was not a pompous composer, but a lyricist. So that’s how I perform his First Concerto.’

The highly-regarded recording of the two Liszt Piano Concertos came a year after that of the Tchaikovsky, this time from Vienna and with Carlo Maria Giulini, who in turn was making his Deutsche Grammophon debut with it. Upon hearing Berman’s first solo recording for DG (Rachmaninov, Prokofiev), Herbert von Karajan allegedly re-scheduled a recording session with the Berlin Philharmonic in order to record Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto with Berman. These are the only three concertos Berman recorded for Deutsche Grammophon and now appear on a single album.

“his tremendous virtuosity is always put at the service of the music ... Berman’s decorative passages are as delicate as you could imagine, never merely showy, while the strength of his playing is tremendous. He can scale his playing down to the most intimate mood, while the detail of textures is as clear as could be ... Giulini gets the Vienna Symphony Orchestra to play as if it were the Philharmonic itself. DG’s recording is full, yet bright and clear, with an admirable balance between soloist and orchestra ... deeply satisfying” Gramophone Magazine (Liszt)

“this magnificent reading of the Tchaikovsky B flat minor certainly confirms that here is a positive personality of the first order ... Karajan conducts with an incandescent urgency to match the bravura of the pianist ... in every way this is a big, commanding performance ... Berman’s concern for detail and his meticulous scaling of dynamic down to jewelled pianissimo grips the attention through everything ... a firm first choice for every taste with stellar names and brilliant recording quality” Gramophone Magazine (Tchaikovsky)

“Berman's all-engulfing accounts receive expert backing from Karajan (Tchaikovsky), but rather less sophisticated support from the VSO in Liszt's Concertos.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2015 ****

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Nelson Freire: Radio Days

Nelson Freire: Radio Days


Chopin:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Reinhard Peters

Liszt:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major, S125

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Eleazar de Carvalho

Prokofiev:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in D flat major, Op. 10

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Yuri Ahronovitch

Rachmaninov:

Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, David Zinman

Schumann:

Introduction and Allegro Op. 134

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Reinhard Peters

Tchaikovsky:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23

Orchestre Philharmonique de l'ORTF, Kurt Masur


To celebrate Nelson Freire’s 70th Birthday (18th October), this special 2CD collection presents concerto repertoire that is not currently in Nelson’s Decca catalogue. This collection brings these very good radio broadcasts together for the first time on CD.

Decca has mined the archives of radio stations in France, Germany and the Netherlands to create a double-album of recordings made at the beginning of his career in Europe during Freire’s twenties and early thirties: the years when he was described by the press as a “young lion of the keyboard”.

This collection brings these outstanding remastered radio broadcasts together for the first time internationally on any format.

We hear performances of key pillars of piano concerto repertoire with leading conductors such as Masur and Zinman.

This album will be simultaneously released with Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.5 & Sonata Op.111 in September, followed by a Chopin album including Piano Concerto No.2 and other solo gems in January 2015.

“There's not a dud among them. Each bar is full of the vitality that Freire brings to everything he plays, though the recorded orchestral sound is a bit dry and bright – and the orchestras aren't always immaculate. But Freire's fabulously clean phrasing and pearly tone are never compromised, and each concerto is special in one way or another.” The Guardian, 3rd September 2014 ****

“Freire excels...on his 1979 account of Liszt No 2, with Bavarian Radio forces conducted by Eleazar de Carvalho, who apparently sometimes marked beats by thumping his chest as if he were Tarzan. Listening to this blistering recording, I am not at all surprised.” The Times, 5th September 2014

“These recordings of live broadcasts dating from 1968-79 tell us in no uncertain terms of Nelson Freire's immaculate overall command, allied to a liberation granted to only the finest pianists...These are not the sort of performances to prompt vivid metaphors. Yet there are several surprises from a pianist who has often kept emotions at arm's length.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2014

“What is most notable about this collection is the way Freire finds exactly the right idiom for each composer: a perfumed suggestion in the theatre for Tchaikovsky's First, elfin charm for the young Prokofiev and a quintessentially Russian nostalgia for Rachmaninov.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2015 *****

BBC Music Magazine

Concerto Choice - January 2015

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Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2

Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2


Tchaikovsky:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23

Piano Concerto No. 2 in G major, Op. 44


Since winning the 11th International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1998, Denis Matsuev has established a reputation as one of Russia's leading pianists. His début release on the Mariinsky label featuring Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 3 and Paganini Variations, received widespread acclaim. His second Mariinsky release featured piano concerts by Shostakovich and Shchedrin, which was awarded Clef du Mois by ResMusica and ***** by Audiophile Audition. For his third release, Matsuev turns to the music of Tchaikovsky, with the two Piano Concertos. His first Piano Concerto is one of his most popular works: Tchaikovsky balances core motivic elements with a sense of lyrical spontaneity to create a technically challenging but instantly appealing work.

The Piano Concerto No.2 was dedicated to pianist Nikolai Rubinstein, with whom the composer had a close working relationship. Tchaikovsky wrote, “I want to dedicate it to N. G. Rubinstein in recognition of his magnificent playing of my First Concerto and of my Sonata, which left me in utter rapture after he performed it for me in Moscow.” After a tremendous piano cadenza in the first movement, Tchaikovsky allows other instruments to shine, with prominent solos for violin and cello in the second movement.

Other Tchaikovsky recordings on the Mariinsky label include a DVD/Bluray release of his last three symphonies, and 2011 Tchaikovsky Competition winner Daniil Trifonov’s interpretation of the first Piano Concerto on SACD.

In March and April Denis Matsuev joins the London Symphony Orchestra and Valery Gergiev for a European tour, with concerts in London, Paris and Turin.

“The performances are never less than technically assured and anyone coming to them with experience of other recordings will certainly find that Messrs. Matsuev and Gergiev offer an invariably interesting and often quite striking alternative approach.” MusicWeb International, 7th March 2014

“I doubt if you will ever hear [the B flat minor Concerto] more viscerally thrilling and sumptuously engineered than here. Listening to Matsuev and Gergiev is the aural equivalent of watching Federer and Nadal...If this isn't the greatest performance on disc, it is certainly now my personal benchmark...Matsuev and Gergiev give a similarly blistering account of the G major Concerto.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2014

“An energetic reading, robust, demonstrative, flashy…Let us bow before the purely technical qualties of Matsuev, who swallows the deadliest features with speed and sometimes staggering accuracy.” Diapason

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