This disc marks Swiss-born Chinese virtuoso Mélodie Zhao's concerto recording debut. Both concertos highlight her technical prowess at the keyboard and offer some finely nuanced playing, which has spirit and poetry.
Her views of each work, however, are relatively pedestrian. Tempi are broad throughout, an indication of a middle-of-the-road approach and lack of impulsion.
In No 1, for example, although running in at just over 34', a minute faster than Beatrice Rana (Warner Classics, reviewed last issue), she lacks her rival's insights, and lags behind Sudbin's brilliant account (BIS) and Hough's (Hyperion).
The latter played both versions of No 2's second movement and his account is wholly convincing; Zhao cannot quite match his élan. Claves' sound is excellent.
Tchaïkovsky, Piano Concertos - No 1 in B-flat major; No 2 in G major (Original Version)
Mélodie Zhao (pf), Orchestre de la Suisse Romande / Michail Jurowski
Claves 50-1603, 79 mins
Original article: International Piano Magazine (RhineGold Group), May/June 2016
Find more about this artist
Listen to her albums on Spotify
Musik und Theater: Mélodie Zhao - Die Überraschung
Gramophone (UK) - TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2
Diapason Magazine - 5 Diapason pour le dernier album de Mélodie Zhao: Une excellente surprise !