Taken from a recital in Zurich last June, Mikhail Pletnev's account of this set of miniatures, composed in 1893 and Tchaikovsky's last work for solo piano, is exquisite. Every piece (none lasts more than six minutes) is perfectly judged, and the considerable virtuoso demands of some of them are never allowed to overwhelm their essential poetry. Schumann is the spirit behind much of Tchaikovsky's piano writing but there are also nods towards Chopin. Pletnev adds a real piece of Chopin, the C sharp minor Nocturne, as an encore, and judges it as perfectly as everything else on this distinguished disc.
CD: Tchaikovsky: Mikhail Pletnev: 18 Pieces Op 72