Friday, July 6, 2012

Kabalevsky: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2

It is good to have Kabalevsky’s enjoyable Piano Concertos at bargain price for those who wish to explore this characterful if uneven composer. The (sub-Rachmaninov) First Concerto and (Prokofievian) Second have nice dashes of colour and melody, even if neither is a masterpiece. These performances are thoroughly committed and idiomatically Russian. --Penguin Guide ***, January 2009

Kabalevsky admired Prokofiev’s Third Concerto at its Moscow premiere by Samuel Feinberg in 1925, and just two years later witnessed Prokofiev himself performing the work on his first tour of the Soviet Union: ‘one was struck far more by the deep feeling with which he played the lyrical episodes than by the phenomenal precision of the technically complex passages, the rich timbre and the dynamic power of his touch.’ These qualities, most particularly lyricism, seem to have inspired Kabalevsky’s own First Concerto (1928), on the whole a more reflective work…Prokofiev’s influence is evident in its sparkling passagework and side-stepping harmonies. © 2012 BBC Music Magazine

MP3 320 · 122 MB

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