01 December, 2011

RCA Living Stereo: Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff - Piano Concertos (1958)

RCA Living Stereo: Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff - Piano Concertos (1958)
Van Cliburn & Chicago S O
classical | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 355MB
RCA | SACD | rel.: 2004
Recorded hot on the heels of his landmark Gold Medal victory in the first Moscow Tchaikovsky Competition, the 23-year-old Van Cliburn's million-selling 1958 Tchaikovsky First remains one of this war-horse's most poetic, intelligently paced versions on disc. If an operatic aesthetic governs Cliburn's golden tone and big technique, the heart of the ballet lies within Kondrashin's enlivening support, especially in the Finale's syncopations. Surround-sound technology allows us to appreciate the spatial perspective of the original three-track stereo master. The results prove less dry and more three-dimensional than the standard two-track mixdowns passed down to consumers over the years.
Similar sonic improvement marks Cliburn's 1962 Rachmaninov Second under Fritz Reiner. However, that doesn't change my long-held mixed response to the performance. Cliburn's easygoing line and tendency toward expansive phrasing come alive in the outer movement's slower episodes and throughout the central movement. Yet friskier, scintillating passages lack fire and vitality, especially when compared to, say, Rubinstein's dashing interpretation with the same conductor and orchestra six years earlier. I'll bet that if you played Cliburn and Rubinstein back to back, you'd swear that Cliburn was the older pianist. But Reiner's dovetailed accompaniments carry Cliburn like a baby, and the Chicago Symphony's principal winds particularly stand out. In sum--a qualified recommendation for the Rachmaninov, while the Tchaikovsky's legendary patina has yet to fade.

-1. "Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23" - 34:41
* RCA Symphony Orchestra
* Van Cliburn piano
* Kiril Kondrashin - conductor

-2. "Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18" - 34:08
* Chicago Symphony Orchestra
* Van Cliburn - piano
* Fritz Reiner - conductor


durmoll said...

log & linx:
p: lworld
READ IT! (about old publications):

Daryan Omar said...

is it possible to re-upload please?


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