ANDRÉ TCHAIKOWSKY (1935-1982): Volume 1 - Piano Concerto, Op. 4 (Maciej Grzybowski [piano], Vienna Symphony Orchestra; Paul Daniel), Solo Piano: Sonata (Nico de Villiers), Inventions, Op. 2 (Jakob Fichert).
Catalogue Number: 02P086
Label: Toccata Classics
Reference: TOCC 0204
Description: The concerto is a substantial three-movement work, with a deliberately expectation-defying austere introduction, leading into a passacaglia, an angular capriccio and an energetic finale combining elements of sonata form and fugue. Tchaikowsky was a formidable pianist, reflected in the demanding solo writing, although the orchestra is also called upon to carry a good part of the musical argument, deliberately avoiding any sense of superficial virtuosity. Harmonically the work has much in common with Bartók, and the last movement especially recalls Prokofiev. The ten Inventions are brief character pieces, showing influences of Bartók and Shostakovich, and pre-serial Schoenberg, melded into the composer's own distinctive style. The sonata is an inventive work that seems to have trouble deciding where its idiomatic emphasis lies; the first movement is questing, harmonically unstable and rigorously organized, though subject to unpredictable changes in mood; the slow movement is more tonal, lyrical and romantic in feeling, while the finale is an uneasy, tense perpetuum mobile, somewhat akin in atmosphere to the Busoni Toccata, similarly shadowy and harmonically ambiguous, with a cumulative restless energy.