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André Tchaikowsky’s brilliance as a pianist was widely acknowledged in his all-too-short lifetime (1935-1982) but his preferred vocation was as a composer. The Bregenz Festival premiered his opera The Merchant of Venice last year and also included a performance by Maciej Grzybowski of the thumpingly diffi cult Piano Concerto. I was hugely impressed by this work when it was broadcast around the time of the composer’s death, and re-acquainting myself with its three volatile and turbulent movements (Introduction, Passacaglia and Capriccio) has been a delight. So, too, are the set of ten Inventions (1961-1962) and early Sonata (1957-1958). Fichert and de Villiers both seem at one with Tchaikowsky’s advanced tonal idiom, in which Bartók, early Schoenberg and Shostakovich combine to create something quite new. The Piano Concerto has a different acoustical picture from the solo pieces but this does not detract from a hugely valuable disc, honouring a very fine composer.

GUY RICKARDS Read the full review on Agora Classica


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