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Cédric Tiberghien’s recordings for Harmonia Mundi and Hyperion have been consistently stimulating; here, on the French Naïve label, Tiberghien celebrates his collaborations with Enrique Mazzola and ONDIF in this recording of Beethoven’s ever-fresh first Piano Concerto.

The orchestra is a fine ensemble, producing a magnificently clean sound in the first movement exposition; matching that is Tiberghien’s sense of play, his staccato perfectly formed. Opting for the third and longest of Beethoven’s cadenzas, Tiberghien presents it as a miniature tone-poem. The Largo flows (no wonder there was space for an encore), with nods towards authenticism in the lithe textures, while the finale has a slightly manic feel (not necessarily a bad thing); Tiberghien finds both character and magic, despite the speed. A truly imaginative reading; the encore, the charming Fugue, WoO215, has to wait until after a highly energetic rendering of the Fifth Symphony. Refreshing throughout.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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