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*** INTERNATIONAL TCHAIKOVSKY COMPETITION, Volume 1: 1962 Competition. Vladimir Ashkenazy and John Ogdon, pianos; USSR State Symphony, Konstantin Ivanov and Victor Dubrovsky, conductors. (BMG)

April 19, 1998|Daniel Cariaga

The second Tchaikovsky International Competition--Van Cliburn won the first, in 1958--ended in a draw between Ashkenazy of the Soviet Union and Ogdon of England. In recordings made shortly after the competition, both 25-year-old winners show themselves deserving of the triumph they shared. Despite Ashkenazy's later disclaimer about being temperamentally unsuited to the B-flat-minor Concerto, this performance is a model of blazing accuracy and spacious poetry from one of the best, brightest and most intelligent pianists of his generation. Ogdon, who died in 1989, had similar control, a complete technique and a wondrous sense of musical line, which he showed excitingly in Liszt's E-flat Concerto and in the "Mephisto" Waltz. The two pianists never competed again, but each went on to prove the wisdom in the 1962 jury's decision.

*

Recordings are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).

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