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Alla Breve

October 23, 1994|Susan Bliss

TCHAIKOVSKY: BARRY DOUGLAS, piano, London Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin, conductor for--Piano Concerto No. 1; Concert Fantasy. RCA Victor Red Seal 09026 61632-2. Piano Concerto No. 2; Piano Concerto No. 3. RCA Victor Red Seal 09026 61633-2. These two discs, issued separately, comprise handsome reminders of the qualities that made Douglas the first Western winner of the Tchaikovsky Competition since 1958. Each work is given a powerful and stylish performance--technically impressive and remarkably refined. Pristinely partnered by the London Symphony, the Belfast-born pianist recorded--and RCA originally released--the First Concerto in 1986, the year he took the gold, in Moscow. The other, less familiar offerings--all in collaboration with the Philharmonia--followed in 1991 and 1992. The forces maintain a unanimity in their approach--personable, moving, flashy, eminently romantic, but never descending into bombast.

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