Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 16by Edvard Grieg Performer:
Artur Rubinstein (Piano)
RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic Written: 1868/1907; Norway Date of Recording: 03/10/1961
Concerto for Piano no 2 in C minor, Op. 18by Sergei Rachmaninov Performer:
Artur Rubinstein (Piano)
Period: Romantic Written: Russia Date of Recording: 11/23/1971 Notes: Composition written: Russia (1900 - 1901).
Allegro molto moderato
Allegro moderato molto
Moderato - Allegro
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Grand Grieg and Luxurious RachmaninoffDecember 16, 2011By T. Drake (South Euclid, OH)See All My Reviews"Rubinstein was never satisfied with his 1956 recording of the Grieg Concerto, with the RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra conducted by Alfred Wallenstein. The performance was rather perfunctory, with an undistinguished orchestral contribution, and dry, constricted sonics. This 1961 remake, with the same collaborating forces, fares much better. Tempi are more relaxed, and phrases are molded with greater flexibility. The orchestral playing is also on a higher level, with silky strings and sweeter sounding winds. Rubinstein was so pleased with this recording, that he issued a bold statement which appeared on the album cover: "In the rare coincidence of sound, balance, and performance of conductor, orchestra, and soloist, this is the most perfect recording I have made." Rubinstein recorded surprisingly little of Rachmaninoff's music. Among that composer's works, however, the Second Concerto had pride of place in Rubinstein's repertoire. The pianist made his third, and final, recording of this work with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, which Rachmaninoff himself considered the world's finest orchestra. Rubinstein does not play the Concerto's outer movements with as much drive as in his earlier recordings. But the pianist's exquisite tone, phrasing, and balancing of inner voices more than make up for any lack of virtuoso fireworks. (It should be noted that, at 84, Rubinstein still plays the work with more elan than most pianists half his age.) This rich, lush "Philadelphia Sound" that Rachmaninoff loved is very much in evidence here.
These recordings were considered to be state of the art in their day, and RCA's remastering has improved the sonics ever further. Seldom have I heard an analog concerto recording with such excellent balance and low-frequency response. "Report Abuse
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