Franz Liszt, TCHAIKOVSKY: Piano Concerto No. 2 / Concert Fantasy

Amelia Raitt

By Amelia Raitt

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Think of Konstantin Scherbakov as the Tiger Woods of the classical world. Sure, what he does is possible, but most people are still flabbergasted to see it with their own eyes when it happens. Scherbakov excels in virtuoso pieces, works that are generally considered unplayable let alone with the level of delicacy and respect that he imparts. Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 2 isn't quite as technically difficult as the Rachmaninov that Scherbakov has mastered, but it does present a unique challenge. In it, the pianist is forced to jump between “poetic” and “fiery” over the course of its three varied movements. Scherbakov does both, of course, but it's the concerto's third movement in which he shines, showing off his considerable chops in the quick runs and hairpin turns. Also included: Tchaikovsky's Concert Fantasy, which memorably features glockenspiel and tambourine among its orchestration.