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I don’t know why the Tchaikovsky’s Second Piano Concerto is programmed so rarely. I suppose it’s crowded out because of the enormous popularity of the First Concerto. But those who love No. 1 would also love No. 2, I’d be willing to bet. Yet, in more than fifty years of concert-going I’ve never heard it live. There are excellent studio recordings of the work, e.g., by Oleg Marshev but this performance has the electricity of a live performance and except for a couple of minor bobbles in the prestissimo piano passage work in Mvt III it is well-nigh perfect. Andreas Boyde is a pianist whom I’ve only recently discovered but I’ve been very impressed with him.

The competition for recordings of Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony is tougher. For instance, there is the electric recording by Bernard Haitink and the Concertgebouw (coupled with the ever-popular No. 5) or the equally exciting Bernstein. This performance by Johannes Fritzsch and the Freiburg Philharmonic doesn’t quite reach that level but it is quite good. I particularly liked their ability to convey the sassiness of this eminently likable score.

And then there’s the bargain price. All in all, a recommended recording.

—Scott Morrison