Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

£11 post-free anywhere

Special Offer
Complete Chopin
17 discs
Pre-order for £100


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Works for Voice by György Kurtág


Best Seller

Symphony for solo piano

Chopin Piano Concerto No.1

Schubert Piano sonata

Schubert symphony No. 9

Katherine Watson (Sop)

From Severn to Somme

Plain text for smartphones & printers

We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Support us financially by purchasing
this through MusicWeb
for £13.50 postage paid world-wide.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
Piano Sonata no.2 in B flat minor, op.36 (1913/1931) [16:44]
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
Wedding March and Variations (arr. Liszt arr. Vladimir Horowitz) [6:36]
Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Andante Spianato - Grande Polonaise Brillante, op.22 [12:35]
Scherzo no.4, op.54 [10:12]
Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881)
Pictures at an Exhibition [31:02]
Krystian Tkaczewski (piano)
rec. Studio S1, Polish Radio, Warsaw, 25-26 July 2012.

Polish pianist Krystian Tkaczewski has assembled a pretty mainstream programme for this recording, a factor that will mitigate against voluminous sales in a long-since overcrowded marketplace for his composers of choice. Unfortunately for him, Lang Lang's Rachmaninov (DG 4792236) and Chopin (Sony 88725449132) and Steven Osborne's Mussorgsky (Hyperion CDA67896) are but two of several recent releases that are likely to have satisfied most listeners' urges for some time ahead.
That is a pity, because Tkaczewski, now in his thirties, is a very decent pianist. He may look rather stressed on the hardly-flattering cover photo, but as soon as he starts playing the opening Rachmaninov Sonata the depth of his musical expressiveness and technical poise becomes clear. He does actually have much less competition for the Mendelssohn/Liszt hybrid work, made into a typical party-piece by Vladimir Horowitz who, through his friendship with Rachmaninov and his somewhat egotistical monkeying with Chopin and Mussorgsky, haunts Tkaczewski's recital from beginning to end. Yet the latter eschews his twirling bow-tie approach in favour of a performance that radiates a thoughtful, elegant sobriety more befitting Mendelssohn or indeed Liszt than Horowitz. His Sonata and Pictures are especially satisfying, compendia of easy phrasing and understated virtuosity.
The glossy booklet notes offer plenty in the way of detail on the programme, including Horowitz's involvement. Acte Préalable have always seemed reluctant to use native-English translators, but this time the results are not at all bad. The linguistic curiosities that do pepper the text seem to come primarily from annotator Łukasz Kaczmarek, whose peccadillos include much bandying of pufferies like "genius" and 'extraordinar(il)y', making use of stiff or archaic formulations ("the revised version we are going to hear on the record") and relying heavily on repetition - Rachmaninov's work, for example, is at every mention the 'Piano Sonata no.2 in B flat minor op.36'. Tkaczewski's biography is also informative, but not in a good way, with bromides ("hailed as 'Polish virtuoso'"), mistranslations ("highly regarded as the clinician") and space-filling lists ranging from obscure piano awards to the naming of every last one of the 28 countries the soloist has "concertized on".
The running time is especially generous, however and audio is first-class. All in all this is a CD that stands out artistically and technically more than it can ever hope to do as just another product in a shop window.
Contact at

Masterwork Index: Pictures at an Exhibition