Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Ludwig van Beethoven, Sergey Rachmaninov, Fritz Reiner|
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No.2; Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.5 "Emperor"
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J. Buxton | Waltham, MA United States | 06/07/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While I'm glad I have this cd, I wish I would have paid a few dollars more and purchased the Van Cliburn cd that couples the same Rachmaninoff recording found here with the Tchaikovsky concerto. The Rachmaninoff is first rate, with thunderous climaxes, melancholic phrases, and a wonderfully poetic adagio. Also, the huge chord in the final movement that leads to the final few bars brings me goosebumps. I must admit some disappointment with the Beethoven however. Although recorded only a year earlier, the sound quality is not nearly as good. Van Cliburn's playing sounds wonderful, but I often had the sense that he and the orchestra were not entirely together. Pay the few extra dollars and buy the coupling with the Tchaikovsky (which is a legendary recording)."
Cliburn Plays Like Fire
Jin Han | Hayward, CA United States | 01/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rachmaninov sought organic unity between the orchestra and the piano in his concerti. Van Cliburn and Chicago Symphony are simply masterful in their collaboration. You will feel like Cliburn's piano is a genuine part of a symphony, not merely a solo instrument in a concerto. Cliburn's genius is that while keeping true to Rachmaninov's vision of organic unity, his piano still stands out like a flame. Some times slow-burning, some times like a flame thrower, but it BURNS throughout the concerto. The opening of the 1st movement is incredibly powerful and heavy. The build-up towards the end of the movement is breathtaking. 2nd movement is one of the most beautiful rendition I've heard. and the opening of the 3rd! you just have to hear this CD. There are a lot of younger musicians who will play Rach 2nd with greater technical clarity and with brighter and lighter color of tone. Cliburn plays so HEAVY. You can feel the gravity pressing you to the ground as you listen to this. I think, however, this is the best way to play Rachmaninov. Everything that is Rachmaninov: his fury, sorrow, irony, and romantic melodies and suspense, sound so real and compelling with Cliburn's gravity. You have to own this CD"
Likely to be a first choice.
John Austin | Kangaroo Ground, Australia | 12/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the chancy business of recording piano concertos, there are so many requirements that it is rare to find a total success. Sometimes pianist and conductor are not in rapport. Aural balancing is sometimes faulty. Interpretation might be valid in parts but lacking in overall perception. The sound spectrum might be limited or distorted.
Several playings of this CD, kindly recommended by a Texas friend, leave me unable to fault it in any way. In the Rachmaninov, the outer movements proceed at an unhurried pace allowing both lyricism and excitement to register, with a poetic account of the second movement separating them. I cannot recall a performance so effective. So architecturally perfect is the Cliburn/Reiner account of the Beethoven "Emperor" Concerto (the one that pianists tell me is the more difficult of the two to play) that it would be misleading to point to any details. This is truly a great recording of the century.
The remastering of these Chicago recordings from the early 1960s is yet another total success.