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Notes and Editorial Reviews
Piano Concerto No. 5,
Van Cliburn (pn); Fritz Reiner, cond; Chicago SO
RCA 88697 (Hybrid multichannel SACD: 68:59)
These recordings have rarely if ever been out of the catalog since their original releases in the early 1960s, and they’re so familiar that there’s little point in rehashing their virtues: Cliburn’s healthy and unpretentious playing (as yet unaffected by the
public attention that seems eventually to have crushed him), Reiner’s firm grip on the music’s inner scaffolding, the Chicago Symphony’s breathtaking ensemble. Those who like to rain on ticker-tape parades might point out that even Reiner’s most ardent fans were unlikely to tout his sympathy for Schumann’s ethos (his conducting was far too stern)—and that for all its breezy confidence, Cliburn’s “Emperor” hardly counts among the most penetrating accounts of the score. Still, even apart from their value as a memento of those more innocent times, these performances deserve their classic status, and (a few moments of glassy piano tone aside), they sound more solid and focused than ever on this splendid new re-mastering of the original three-channel tapes. Warmly recommended.
FANFARE: Peter J. Rabinowitz
This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players. Read less
Works on This Recording
Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 54 by Robert Schumann
Van Cliburn (Piano)
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Written: 1841-1845; Germany
Length: 30 Minutes 49 Secs.
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Recordings of Classic Status October 30, 2016
By owen ryan (lakewood, CA) See All My Reviews
"As I stated in my previous review ( the Beethoven and Mendelssohn Violin Concertos), this may be your last chance to get these SACD offerings. Sviatoslov Richter, who was one of the jurors in the 1958 Moscow Tchaikovsky competition, called Cliburn a genius further stating that it was a term ''I do not use lightly about performers.'' Another recommended recording."