Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Concerto No 2 in G major (1879) [45:08]
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 9 in E flat major Op. 70 (1945) [28:25]
Andreas Boyde (piano)
Freiburg Philharmonic Orchestra/Johannes Fritzsch
rec. live broadcast, 13-14 January 1997, Sudwestfunk Landestudio, Freiburg - Konzerthaus Freiburg

Good to see the re-appearance of this disc - first issued and reviewed here in the very early days of the site.

These performances are taken from live events – witness the applause and the occasional cough - for example at 6:56 in the first movement of the Tchaikovsky. Boyde pulls off the storming stuff (I, 9:23) but is also very satisfying at spinning the cantabile. The ‘chamber trio’ Andante is touching and Keiko Yoshono-Skiba is wonderfully Oistrakh-hoarse. Garbis Atmacayan has the sort of glowing tone we associate with Leonard Rose though not as imperiously recorded. It’s all touching yet at the same time equable. The finale skips and glints with soloist and orchestra singing from the same galloping and swooning hymn-sheet. It’s a celebration in romantic exuberance. No wonder the audience greeted it so enthusiastically. This is a fine live event with all the associated frisson of risk and spontaneity.

We hear far too little of Boyde so perhaps we should remind ourselves of his well thought of Dvorák and Schoenfield piano concertos (review) as well.

After a good long silence we pitch into the Shostakovich. This is alert and spry in the three more animated circus-brusque movements but too sleepy in the Moderato and Largo. The playing in those faster movements is remarkable and the spirited results belie expectations raised by a band presumed, because of its provincial name, to be something less than first rate.

This disc is only to be criticised because of the ill-sorted harnessing of two such different works. However outright Tchaikovskians must hear this. Also do not forget another very obscure Tchaikovsky 2 (with an equally good Tchaikovsky 1): that played by Mikhail Petukhov with the Buenos Aires orchestra on Pavane ADW7387 (review).

Rob Barnett

see also reviews by David Wright and an earlier review by Rob Barnett

Galloping swooning romantic exuberance. All the frisson of risk and spontaneity of a live concert.