Brian Wilson
MusicWeb International
December 2016

I had passed this by until I received Dan Morgan’s enthusiastic review to edit and convert for the web: ‘A most rewarding account of the concerto and a delightful one of the Pletnev suite; good sound, too’. Like him, I initially wondered if we really needed another recording of the concerto to set alongside a whole number of classic and more recent winners—to his list I’d add Clifford Curzon and George Szell (1958), now in a box set or download only. I’d also like to see RCA restore their John Browning recording with Seiji Ozawa and the LSO, till recently available at budget price with the Violin Concerto performed by Erick Friedman.

The obvious benchmark for the Concerto with a piano version of the Nutcracker Suite—in her case a 2-piano arrangement—comes from Martha Argerich and Claudio Abbado, still at full price on DG. I’d still prefer that but was also pleased with Dariescu’s comparatively understated performances.

Signum downloads from Hyperion are always excellent value

One thing puzzles me: on most copies Dariescu is turned towards the toy soldier on the cover but on others she’s turning away from him.