The Romantic Piano Concerto, Vol.50 / Tchaikovsky
Stephen Hough, piano; Minnesota Orchestra; Osmo Vänskä, conductor
Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840–1893): Piano Concerto No 1 in B flat minor Op 23 / Concert Fantasia in G major Op 56 / Piano Concerto No 2 in G major Op 44 / Piano Concerto No 3 in E flat major Op 75 / alternative versions of the second movement of Piano Concerto No 2 Op 44
The Romantic Piano Concerto series reaches Volume 50. This series has been described as a jewel in Hyperion’s crown and one of the glories of the recording industry. Rarely in the history of recorded music has such a rich seam of undiscovered delights been mined to such consistently dazzling effect. These first fifty volumes include 131 works for piano and orchestra: fifty-nine of these works are premiere recordings and many other featured works have only been recorded once before. The performers include some of the greatest pianists, orchestras and conductors in the world, and each disc in itself is a miracle of virtuosity, scholarship and musicianship.
For Volume 50, a stellar cast has been assembled for a two-disc set that includes, unusually, one of the most famous concertos in the repertoire. Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No 1 has certainly achieved warhorse status – but in the expert hands of Stephen Hough it is a new creature. With the rest of this fascinating two-disc set we are in more usual RPC territory, with music which is actually not widely known. This is a complete survey of Tchaikovsky’s music for piano and orchestra and includes alternative versions of the second movement of Piano Concerto no 2 as well as some delicious extras.