BORIS TISHCHENKO (b.1939): Piano Concerto (Boris Tishchenko [piano], Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra; Igor Blazhkov. Rec. 1966), Harp Concerto (Irina Donskaya-Tishchenko [harp], Leningrad Chamber Orchestra; Eduard Serov. Rec. 1979).
Catalogue Number: 05K090
Label: Northern Flowers
Reference: NF/PMA 9963
Description: The piano work begins nonchalantly, very reminiscent of Shostakovich's second concerto, and develops along restless lines, with rhythmic instabilities and suggestions of bitonality undermining the playful melodic line. The whimsical second movement moves free variations of a theme around the orchestra, recalling the Bartók Concerto for Orchestra, increasing in intensity before being abruptly interrupted by the energetic finale, which starts without pause. The Harp Concerto, from 1977, is less obviously indebted to any other composer's style. It explores strongly contrasting expressive facets of the solo instrument, beginning with an expository, extended movement which sets out the work's modally-inflected thematic material at a leisurely pace. This gives way to robustly orchestrated second and third movements, aggressive and strident (the latter in the mood of a bitterly ironic Shostakovich scherzo, with rattling xylophone). The fourth is a wistful intermezzo, with wordless soprano, and then an extended slow cadenza for the solo harp leads into a finale which brings the work full circle, mournfully re-imagining the material of the first movement in a powerfully cumulative elegy of mounting tension, before dissolving into a reminiscence of the work's opening.