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John Ogdon - The Complete Rca Album Collection


Release Date: 04/01/2014 
Label:  Rca   Catalog #: 1222573  
Composer:  Ludwig van BeethovenPeter MenninSergei RachmaninovCharles Valentin Alkan,   ... 
Performer:  John Ogdon
Conductor:  Igor Buketoff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 6 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



The excellent booklet notes by our very own Jed Distler constitute a more perceptive review than this is likely to be, but here goes. This six disc set contains all of John Ogdon’s RCA recordings, issued in “original jacket” format. In other words, it could have been condensed onto fewer discs, but I doubt anyone will complain. However, the set is currently selling on Amazon USA for more then double the cost in the UK (about GBP28 over there), so do as I did and check pricing before you order.

The range of repertoire on these six discs is as astonishing as the performances. I discovered the Nielsen piano works Alkan’s Concerto for Solo Piano from these
Read more recordings, and further encounters with other excellent versions have not dimmed their luster. You won’t find a more powerful version of the Nielsen Chaconne, for example, and if the Alkan isn’t quite as clearly sculpted structurally as either of Hamelin’s versions, it’s still exciting as hell and as thrilling an example of virtuoso pianism as I ever hope to hear.

Ogdon’s recording of the two Rachmaninov sonatas has always been highly regarded, and it remains one of a tiny handful of recordings to do justice to both works–especially the long First Sonata. The Mennin Piano Concerto and Yardumian Passacaglia, Recitative and Fugue are uniquely authoritative, and well worth getting to know. The Liszt recital, new outside of Japan, captures Ogdon live and in excellent form. He nails the ever-popular Second Hungarian Rhapsody (with his own cadenza), and blasts through Mazeppa and the Mephisto Waltz No. 1 with uninhibited abandon. Even the hackneyed Grand Galop Chromatique benefits from Ogdon’s huge range of sonority and articulation.


He’s not all bang and bluster, though. If you check out the scherzo of the Hammerklavier Sonata, you’ll hear wonderfully subtle touches: those slight “pushes” energizing the basic tempo, and the dry staccatos at the ends of phrases hinting at a latent power that only emerges at the very end. It’s both characterful and intelligent, as is the entire performance.

This smaller set undoubtedly represents Ogdon more consistently at his best than does the EMI (Warner) Icon box, interesting though much of that is. He was always a risk-taker, and his rough and ready persona is mirrored in his playing, not always to the music’s advantage, but these well-mastered performances amply support his claim to be considered a major artist. Those who know them will need no urging from me to acquire this set; those who do not are in for a treat.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com

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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Piano no 29 in B flat major, Op. 106 "Hammerklavier" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  John Ogdon (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1817-1818; Vienna, Austria 
2.
Concerto for Piano by Peter Mennin
Performer:  John Ogdon (Piano)
Conductor:  Igor Buketoff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958; USA 
3.
Sonata for Piano no 1 in D minor, Op. 28 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  John Ogdon (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1907; Russia 
4.
Sonata for Piano no 2 in B flat minor, Op. 36 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  John Ogdon (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913/1931; Russia 
5.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 39: nos. 8-10, Concerto by Charles Valentin Alkan
Performer:  John Ogdon (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857; France 
6.
Passacaglia, Recitative and Fugue for piano and orchestra by Richard Yardumian
Performer:  John Ogdon (Piano)
7.
Symphonic Suite for Piano, FS 19/Op. 8 by Carl Nielsen
Performer:  John Ogdon (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1894; Denmark 
8.
Suite for Piano, FS 91/Op. 45 "Luciferian" by Carl Nielsen
Performer:  John Ogdon (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919-1920; Denmark 
9.
Pieces (3) for Piano, FS 131/Op. 59 by Carl Nielsen
Performer:  John Ogdon (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; Denmark 
10.
Chaconne for Piano, FS 79/Op. 32 by Carl Nielsen
Performer:  John Ogdon (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916; Denmark 
11.
Hungarian Rhapsodies (19) for Piano, S 244: no 2 in C sharp minor by Franz Liszt
Performer:  John Ogdon (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847; Hungary 
12.
Transcendental Etudes (12) for Piano, S 139: no 4, Mazeppa by Franz Liszt
Performer:  John Ogdon (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Weimar, Germany 
13.
Transcendental Etudes (12) for Piano, S 139: no 5, Feux follets by Franz Liszt
Performer:  John Ogdon (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Weimar, Germany 
14.
Transcendental Etudes (6) after Paganini, S 140: no 3 "La Campanella" by Franz Liszt
Performer:  John Ogdon (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Switzerland 
15.
Années de pèlerinage, première année, S 160 "Suisse": no 4, Au bord d'une source by Franz Liszt
Performer:  John Ogdon (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848-1854; Weimar, Germany 
16.
Années de pèlerinage, deuxième année, S 161 "Italie": no 2, Il penseroso by Franz Liszt
Performer:  John Ogdon (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837-1849; Weimar, Germany 
17.
Venezia e Napoli, S 162: no 3, Tarantella by Franz Liszt
Performer:  John Ogdon (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; Weimar, Germany 
18.
Grand galop chromatique for Piano, S 219 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  John Ogdon (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Switzerland 
19.
Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke, S 514 "Mephisto Waltz no 1" by Franz Liszt
Performer:  John Ogdon (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859-1860; Weimar, Germany 

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