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CD Review

Antonín Dvořák

  • Piano Concerto in G minor, Op. 33
  • Poetic Tone-Pictures, Op. 85:
  • #1 "On the Road at Night"
  • #3 "At the Old Castle"
  • #8 "Goblin's Dance"
  • #6 "Sorrowful Rêverie"
  • #12 "At a Hero's Grave"
Vassily Primakov, piano
Odense Symphony Orchestra/Justin Brown
Bridge 9309 DDD 68:52
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Dvořák's Piano Concerto is often overlooked as it is a relatively early work but as in this composer's output, the melodic charm is never short in supply. This new version features the quite sensational Vassily Primakov as soloists and the Odense Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Justin Brown.

I found Primakov an excellent exponent of the solo part in the concerto whilst receiving fine support from the Danish players. Still he does not come close to Sviatoslav Richter and Carlos Kleiber which still remains the obvious first choice for this work. The Poetic Tone Pictures are given an affable interpretation with plenty of fine technique but in the end there is something a bit too glossy about Primakov's playing which is rather glitzy although one cannot doubt his formidable technique.

Bridge's presentation is quite effective with some fine and detailed notes by Malcolm Macdonald matched with a superb recording which is a tribute to the Starobin team who mastermind this extremely eclectic label. As modern versions go, I would still opt for Richter/Kleiber but Primakov is definitely worth an outing if one wishes to explore further facets of this much underrated work.

Copyright © 2010, Gerald Fenech