Label: Speakers Corner / Mercury Living Presence – SR90300
Pure Analogue Audiophile Mastering – Pressed at Pallas Germany
The Absolute Sound Super Disc List / TAS Harry Pearson Super LP List
In contrast to his tremendously popular Second and Third Piano Concertos, Rachmaninov’s First could be likened to a rare orchid in that it is seldom found on a concert programme. Why is that? Is it that it lacks the sweet sultriness of the later works? Or could it be that no one is aware of the 17-year-old composer’s talents? Or can he be accused of walking in Tchaikovsky’s harmonic footsteps? This recording has an answer to all these questions. In spite of reaching back to such genial examples as Schumann, Beethoven and Grieg, Rachmaninov reveals his own personality in his early work. The thematic ideas are extremely impressive, they are developed skillfully, and are treated to such a masterly orchestration that one is tempted to dub this work “The Underestimated”.
Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto was spared such a fate. Its folklike character, coupled with amazing virtuosity, guarantee that the work remains immensely popular – but it also places the highest demands upon the performers. It remains a matter of speculation as to whether the presence of the American recording team spurred on the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra and the pianist Byron Janis to newer and greater heights, such as are heard here. We are happy to be able to include this valuable recording in our Russian Edition.
Janis’s true genius shows itself in the fresh and fiery keyboard magic in Prokoviev’s Piano Concerto no. 3 and his highly sensitive personal style in Rachmaninoff’s First Piano Concerto.
This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the master tapes through to the cutting head. More information under www.pure-analogue.com.
All royalties and mechanical rights have been paid.
Recording: June 1962 in Bolshoi Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Moscow, Russia,
by C.R. Fine and Robert Eberenz / Production: Wilma Cozart
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