Grieg and Prokofiev piano concertos, Nikolai Lugansky and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, cond Kent Nagano, review

The Russian pianist Nikolai Lugansky

Geoffrey Norris writes: Neither the Grieg Concerto nor Prokofiev’s Third is exactly a stranger to the catalogue, but Nikolai Lugansky’s collaboration here with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester refreshes, rejuvenates and, in terms of interpretation, replenishes each work with a whole range of perceptive refinements.

The Grieg concerto is so ubiquitous that it is easy to forget that it was composed in 1868 when he was still only in his twenties, long before any of the stage works, songs and solo piano pieces in which his distinctive, Norwegian-inflected voice was to assert itself to the full. Nevertheless, it scored a hit for him throughout his life and, in the revised version (chiefly of the orchestration) that he made shortly before his death in 1907, it has always been a repertoire staple, so much so that its lyrical charm and romantic drama can on occasion be taken for granted.

That is something that Lugansky and Kent Nagano never do. In all sorts of little details theirs is a performance that ...........

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