Listening to the first part of this CD (Rimsky-Korsakov's beautiful piano concerto) practically made me paralyzed. It's so pretty, so nice, and so different. After all, what is Rimsky-Korsakov best known for? Scheherezade. Beautiful, yes, but nothing could have prepared me for the piano concerto. It felt so different and lovely. Listening to it just made me feel happy. It was positively wonderful. This was actually the reason I personally bought the CD, curious to hear more Rimsky-Korsakov, but along the way, I picked up two more lovely treasures.
Balakirev's first piano concerto is again different. After going back and listening to the CD again, it becomes clear that it's of a much poorer quality than the other two pieces here. But then I must ask the question: Is it of poor quality? and the answer is without a doubt, NO. It's just as nice, but kind of more innocent, young, and cute. It's just as enjoyable to hear, and I could hear it whenever I want to. It's nice, but I can't say that it took my breath away.
Balakirev's second concerto, on the other hand, did. From the very first moment, the stunning music had me spell-bound. Absolutely beautiful music. The concerto is fresh and wonderful, but also original and Russian at the same time. It's exciting and beautiful at the same time. It's not the sort of thing a person can describe. It must be heard, and if the other two parts of this CD don't convince you, let this be the concerto that makes you purchase this amazing CD. The playing is wonderful, the music is incredible, and it's the sort of CD you could listen to again and again. I know I will.
Definitely recommended, and I urge you to purchase it. Without a doubt, worth anything.