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Van Cliburn - The Complete Album Collection


Release Date: 02/12/2013 
Label:  Rca   Catalog #: 540723   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Frédéric ChopinSergei RachmaninovEdvard GriegFranz Liszt,   ... 
Performer:  Van Cliburn
Conductor:  Eugene OrmandyKiril KondrashinFritz ReinerWalter Hendl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia OrchestraRCA Symphony OrchestraChicago Symphony Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 29 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Van Cliburn Complete Album Collection brings together, for the first time, all of the live and studio recordings the legendary pianist made for RCA. Beginning with his 1958 debut recording of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1, the Complete Album Collection features his personal selections of favorite Chopin, Brahms and Debussy pieces, selections from his 1972 Moscow performances, his popular album of Favorite Encores plus his last recording for RCA of Brahms pieces. This new box set features a hardcover book along with the Peter Rosen film, Van Cliburn – Concert Pianist on DVD. This fascinating documentary offers an intimate view from the artist himself and those closest to him including Leontyne Price, Marilyn Horne, Leonard Slatkin Read more and others. Van Cliburn – Concert Pianist was originally broadcast on A&E’s Biography series and is also available as a stand-alone DVD. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Polonaise for Piano in A flat major, B 147/Op. 53 "Heroic" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1961 
2.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, B 161/Op. 62: no 1 in B major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1961 
3.
Fantasie for Piano in F minor/A flat major, B 137/Op. 49 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1961 
4.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 25: no 11 in A minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1834; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1961 
5.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 10: no 3 in E major, B 74 "Tristesse" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836-1839; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1961 
6.
Ballade for Piano no 3 in A flat major, B 136/Op. 47 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840-1841; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1961 
7.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, B 164/Op. 64: no 2 in C sharp minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846-1847; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1961 
8.
Scherzo for Piano no 3 in C sharp minor, B 125/Op. 39 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839; Mallorca (Majorca),  
Date of Recording: 1961 
9.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in E minor, B 53/Op. 11 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; Poland 
10.
Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, Op. 43 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1934; USA 
11.
Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 16 by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868/1907; Norway 
12.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in E flat major, S 124 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849/1856; Weimar, Germany 
13.
Concerto for Piano no 2 in A major, S 125 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839/1861; Weimar, Germany 
14.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Book 1: no 5, Pour les octaves by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 
Date of Recording: 01/22/1972 
Length: 2 Minutes 42 Secs. 
15.
Préludes, Book 2: no 7, La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912-1913; France 
Date of Recording: 01/20/1972 
Length: 4 Minutes 18 Secs. 
16.
Suite bergamasque: 3rd movement, Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1890/1905; France 
Date of Recording: 01/20/1972 
Length: 5 Minutes 14 Secs. 
17.
La plus que lente by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910; France 
Date of Recording: 01/20/1972 
Length: 4 Minutes 44 Secs. 
18.
Estampes (3) for Piano: no 3, Jardins sous la pluie by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; France 
Date of Recording: 01/21/1972 
Length: 3 Minutes 32 Secs. 
19.
Rêverie by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1890; France 
Date of Recording: 01/21/1972 
Length: 4 Minutes 49 Secs. 
20.
Images for Piano, Set 1: no 1, Reflets dans l'eau by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905; France 
Date of Recording: 01/22/1972 
Length: 5 Minutes 32 Secs. 
21.
Préludes, Book 2: no 12, Feux d'artifice by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912-1913; France 
Date of Recording: 01/22/1972 
Length: 4 Minutes 10 Secs. 
22.
Préludes, Book 1: no 8, La fille aux cheveux de lin by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909-1910; France 
Date of Recording: 01/22/1972 
Length: 2 Minutes 47 Secs. 
23.
Estampes (3) for Piano: no 2, La soirée dans Grenade by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; France 
Date of Recording: 01/21/1972 
Length: 5 Minutes 51 Secs. 
24.
L'isle joyeuse by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; France 
Date of Recording: 01/22/1972 
Length: 6 Minutes 38 Secs. 
25.
Pavane pour une infante défunte by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1899; France 
Date of Recording: 08/04/1975 
Length: 6 Minutes 45 Secs. 
26.
Le tombeau de Couperin: no 6, Toccata by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1917; France 
Date of Recording: 08/12/1975 
Length: 4 Minutes 5 Secs. 
27.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Date of Recording: May 30, 1958 
Venue:  Carnegie Hall, New York City 
28.
Concerto for Piano no 2 in C minor, Op. 18 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Date of Recording: April 1962 
Venue:  Orchestra Hall, Chicago 
29.
Concerto for Piano no 3 in C major, Op. 26 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Walter Hendl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917-1921; USA 
30.
Concerto for Piano no 3 in D minor, Op. 30 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony of the Air
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1909; Russia 
31.
Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 54 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841-1845; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1960 
32.
Concerto for Piano no 2 in D minor, Op. 23 by Edward MacDowell
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Walter Hendl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884-1886; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1960 
33.
Woodland Sketches, Op. 51: no 1, To a Wild Rose by Edward MacDowell
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; USA 
Date of Recording: 1960 
34.
Concerto for Piano no 4 in G major, Op. 58 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1806; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1961 
Venue:  Orchestra Hall, Chicago, Illinois 
35.
Concerto for Piano no 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 "Emperor" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1809; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Orchestra Hall, Chicago, Illinois 
36.
Concerto for Piano no 3 in C minor, Op. 37 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800; Vienna, Austria 
37.
Rhapsodies (2) for Piano, Op. 79: no 1 in B minor by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1879; Austria 
Date of Recording: 1970-71 
38.
Rhapsodies (2) for Piano, Op. 79: no 2 in G minor by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1879; Austria 
Date of Recording: 1970-71 
39.
Pieces (6) for Piano, Op. 118: no 1, Intermezzo in A minor by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Austria 
Date of Recording: 1970-71 
40.
Pieces (6) for Piano, Op. 118: no 2, Intermezzo in A major by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Austria 
Date of Recording: 1970-71 
41.
Pieces (6) for Piano, Op. 118: no 3, Ballade in G minor by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Austria 
Date of Recording: 1970-71 
42.
Fantasies (7) for Piano, Op. 116: no 3, Capriccio in G minor by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Austria 
Date of Recording: 1970-71 
43.
Fantasies (7) for Piano, Op. 116: no 6, Intermezzo in E major by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Austria 
Date of Recording: 1970-71 
44.
Sonata for Piano no 23 in F minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1804-1805; Vienna, Austria 
45.
Sonata for Piano no 26 in E flat major, Op. 81a "Les Adieux" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1809-1810; Vienna, Austria 
46.
Sonata for Piano no 8 in C minor, Op. 13 "Pathétique" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797-1798; Vienna, Austria 
47.
Sonata for Piano no 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 no 2 "Moonlight" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801; Vienna, Austria 
48.
Sonata for Piano no 10 in C major, K 330 (300h) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781-1783 
49.
Sonata for Piano in E flat minor, Op. 26 by Samuel Barber
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949; USA 
50.
Liebesträume for Piano, S 541: no 3, O Lieb, so lang by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1850; Weimar, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 47 Secs. 
51.
Preludes (10) for Piano, Op. 23: no 5 in G minor, Alla marcia by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901; Russia 
Length: 4 Minutes 3 Secs. 
52.
Bagatelle for Piano in A minor, WoO 59 "Für Elise" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1808; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 3 Minutes 1 Secs. 
53.
Sonata for Piano no 11 in A major, K 331 (300i): 3rd movement, Rondo alla turca by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781-1783; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 3 Minutes 53 Secs. 
54.
Preludes (10) for Piano, Op. 23: no 6 in E flat major, Andante by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1903; Russia 
Length: 3 Minutes 39 Secs. 
55.
Rêverie by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1890; France 
Length: 4 Minutes 46 Secs. 
56.
Morceaux de fantaisies (5), Op. 3: no 2, Prélude in C sharp minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Russia 
Length: 4 Minutes 47 Secs. 
57.
Preludes (13) for Piano, Op. 32: no 5 in G major, Moderato by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
Length: 3 Minutes 22 Secs. 
58.
Waltzes (16) for Piano 4 hands, Op. 39: no 15 in A flat major by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1865; Austria 
Length: 1 Minutes 54 Secs. 
59.
Consolations (6) for Piano, S 172: no 5 in E major, Andantino by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849-1850; Weimar, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 9 Secs. 
60.
Moments musicaux (6) for Piano, D 780/Op. 94: no 3 in F minor by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823-1828; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 1 Minutes 40 Secs. 
61.
Pieces (6) for Piano, Op. 118: no 6, Intermezzo in E flat minor by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Austria 
Length: 5 Minutes 17 Secs. 
62.
Kinderszenen, Op. 15: no 7, Träumerei by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 2 Secs. 
63.
Les saisons, Op. 37b: no 6, Juin "Barcarolle" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Length: 4 Minutes 36 Secs. 
64.
Intermezzi (3) for Piano, Op. 117: no 3 in C sharp minor by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Austria 
Length: 5 Minutes 40 Secs. 
65.
Preludes (10) for Piano, Op. 23: no 7 in C minor, Allegro by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1903; Russia 
Length: 2 Minutes 49 Secs. 
66.
Impromptu for Piano no 4 in C sharp minor, B 87/Op. 66 "Fantaisie-Impromptu" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Paris, France 
Length: 5 Minutes 18 Secs. 
67.
Intermezzi (3) for Piano, Op. 117: no 1 in E flat major by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Austria 
Date of Recording: 1972 
68.
Pieces (4) for Piano, Op. 119: no 2, Intermezzo in E minor by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Austria 
Date of Recording: 1975 
69.
Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 83 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878-1881; Austria 
70.
Intermezzi (3) for Piano, Op. 117: no 2 in B flat minor by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Austria 
71.
Pieces (4) for Piano, Op. 119: no 1, Intermezzo in B minor by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Austria 
72.
Pieces (4) for Piano, Op. 119: no 3, Intermezzo in C major by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Austria 
73.
Pieces (4) for Piano, Op. 119: no 4, Rhapsody in E flat major by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Austria 
74.
Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 83 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878-1881; Austria 
Date of Recording: 1972 
Venue:  Live  Moscow Conservatory, Moscow, Russia 
Length: 51 Minutes 0 Secs. 
75.
Mazurkas (5) for Piano, B 61/Op. 7: no 1 in B flat major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Vienna, Austria 
76.
Nocturnes (3) for Piano, B 54/Op. 9: no 2 in E flat major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830-1831; Poland 
77.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, B 164/Op. 64: no 1 in D flat major "Minute Waltz" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846-1847; Paris, France 
78.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 10: no 12 in C minor, B 67 "Revolutionary" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; Poland 
79.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 28: no 7 in A major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836-1839; Paris, France 
80.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 28: no 15 in D flat major "Raindrop" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838-1839; Paris, France 
81.
Scherzo for Piano no 2 in B flat minor/D flat major, B 111/Op. 31 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Paris, France 
82.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 8: no 12 in D sharp minor by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1894; Russia 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
83.
Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, Op. 43 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1934; USA 
Date of Recording: 1972 
Venue:  Moscow Conservatory, Moscow, Russia 
Length: 24 Minutes 36 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  10 Customer Reviews )
 Van Cliburn collection January 7, 2014 By Anthony F. (Jensen Beach, FL) See All My Reviews "Worth EVERY penny . His playing is so special and his selections are all first class pieces." Report Abuse
 A fitting tribute to America's pianist May 5, 2013 By T. Drake (South Euclid, OH) See All My Reviews "This Complete Album Collection contains the complete recordings than Van Cliburn made as pianist for RCA, plus a documentary on DVD. It does not include his sole recording made as a conductor (issued in 1965 on a limited edition LP), nor recordings that have turned up on other labels. By the time I became aware of Van Cliburn he had already retired, and my co-workers at the Classical record store where I was employed dismissed him as a "burn out". It wasn't until some of his recordings were issued on SACD hybrid discs that I began to listen to his recordings. Despite Cliburn's All-American, apple pie loving boy from Texas image, his musical training was solidly in the Russian School. It's not for nothing that his teacher was Rosina Lhévinne, doyenne of Russian piano teachers. Listening anew to these recordings, it's also easy to see why he won the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958. Cliburn had technique to burn, but never felt the need to get into a speed race - even when he played such warhorses as Rachmaninoff's Third Concerto. Yet it's Cliburn's recording of that concerto which brings a lump to my throat at the final statement of the third movement's "big tune." Cliburn was among the most sincere of interpreters. He didn't feel the need to drown his performances in eccentricity, yet one can instantly tell it's Cliburn performing. His temperament ran warm, but not hot like Rubinstein's and certainly not molten like Horowitz's. In many ways, Cliburn resembled Benno Moiseiwitsch, the master of relaxed virtuosity. Also, Cliburn's ringing sonority reminded many of Rosina Lhévinne's husband, Josef. (Vladimir Horowitz once remarked that he and Arthur Rubinstein together couldn't match Cliburn's tone.) Let's get one thing out of the way, Cliburn was a good musician - not a one hit wonder. There is a misconception, mostly centered in the Germanic circles, that one has to be a great Mozart and Beethoven interpreter to be a great musician. Nothing could be further from the truth. Much of this stems from Artur Schnabel's statement that he limited his repertoire to music that was "better than it could be played." There are plenty of Romantic works that are "better than they can be played". Fact is, there have been plenty of pianists who turn in fine performances of various Beethoven and Mozart works - including Cliburn for the most part. (There are also plenty of pianists who have been lauded for their Beethoven, Mozart, and Schubert interpretations for no good reason.) There are not many pianists who can hold together the Liszt Sonata, or make as strong a case as Cliburn does for the original 1913 version of Rachmaninoff's Second Sonata. As with any recorded legacy, there are high, middle, and low points. The Rachmaninoff Third Concerto, a warm, lyrical performance that proves the piece is more than a pianistic warhorse, belongs in every record collection - despite a rather lackluster accompaniment from the Symphony of the Air. Cliburn makes the best case I've heard for the heavier, chordal cadenza. The Prokofieff Sixth Sonata and Barber Sonata rank with the best - and the Brahms Handel Variations is one of my favorite versions. Many of the other recordings, including works by Chopin, Liszt, and the impressionists, rank as solid but seldom first choices - of course, the same thing could be said about the bulk of Vladimir Ashkenazy's copious output. The low point for me was the opening movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, played rather loudly and lacking in atmosphere. Cliburn was wise enough to know his limitations and be selective in the music he chose to present to the public. Chronologically and stylistically, the repertoire here starts with Mozart and ends with Barber's Piano Sonata. Cliburn didn't embrace serialism or twelve-tone because music without a "line" didn't speak to him. Nor did he play much chamber music. Instead, he concentrated on the core Romantic solo and concerto repertoire - and he played it very well. While many know-it-alls crowed over Cliburn's retirement, at least he knew when enough was enough. That can't be said for many of the intellectual crowd's pantheon of musical heroes - including Claudio Arrau and Rudolf Serkin, great artists who should have left the stage years before they did. Then there are those who shouldn't have begun in the first place. As with many of their recent reissues, Sony has organized this set to match the original LPs - which means short playing times - and included the original cover art. A perceptive essay by Jed Distler is also included. The recordings do not sound newly remastered, but Cliburn got better sound at RCA than many of his contemporaries at that label did - everything is acceptable sonically." Report Abuse
 Van Cliburn Collection April 13, 2013 By D. Hogue (La Grange, IL) See All My Reviews "I have been a Van Cliburn fan for many years especially his sensitivity and technical prowess performing Chopin. Risking jingoism, I have the same feelings about Murray Perahia. The RCA collection is everything I expected and included several albums I already have in my collection, but many more I did not. Each disk resembles the iconic RCA Red label 33 rpm of years past including faux needle grooves on the title side. As expected quality varied with vintage, venue, technology but all great listening. I have a 6-disk CD player driving a Bose system and when I load the cartridge I can listen so marvelous piano music uninterupted for hours and hours. Great buy, considering the Perahia collection as well. dh" Report Abuse
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