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Backhaus: The Complete British Acoustic Recordings, 1908-25
Sergey Rachmaninov, Franz Liszt, George Frederick Handel
Backhaus: The Complete British Acoustic Recordings, 1908-25
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (30) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #2

Backhaus was among the giants of 20th-century keyboard artists, renowned for his solid--some would say stolid--Beethoven and Brahms interpretations. The younger Backhaus was a more overtly virtuosic pianist with a wide rep...  more »

      
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Backhaus was among the giants of 20th-century keyboard artists, renowned for his solid--some would say stolid--Beethoven and Brahms interpretations. The younger Backhaus was a more overtly virtuosic pianist with a wide repertory. This invaluable Pearl set covers his British recordings, starting in 1908 when he was only 24, and it includes composers and works he abandoned in later years when he pared his programs down to essential masterworks. So we get his only recordings of Rachmaninoff, whom he admired as the greatest among living piano composers, along with Bach, Scarlatti, and others. Backhaus's dazzling virtuosity can be heard in his abridged Brahms Paganini Variations, the Liszt, La Campanella, with its marvelously even runs, and the Weber, Perpetuum Mobile, with precise articulation at fast speeds, among many other examples. Some of his early electrical recordings fill out disc two, sounding fresher than most of the acoustics. Seth Winner's transfers on both well-filled discs are uniformly fine. Collectors of historical recordings will want these rarities. --Dan Davis