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Van Cliburn - My Favorite Rachmaninoff


Release Date: 05/16/2000 
Label:  Rca Victor Red Seal Catalog #: 63612   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Van Cliburn
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 57 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

All of Van Cliburn’s solo Rachmaninov recordings previously issued by RCA are remastered for this compilation. The pianist’s magnificent reading of the Second Sonata, taped at a June, 1960, Moscow recital, is drastically upgraded, sonically speaking. Gone are the dynamic compression and blotchy climaxes of yore, while Cliburn’s huge sonority projects and congeals as if we were sitting in the Great Hall at the Moscow Conservatory. This is not studio standard engineering, true, but at last you can listen to rather than listen through it! Cliburn plays the composer’s more opulent 1913 version, reverting to the 1931 revision in several places. A few wrong chords and fluffed arpeggios are a small price to pay in light of the pianist’s al fresco Read more sweep and lyrical generosity. The remainder of the disc stems from studio recordings taped in the early 1970s. BMG’s 24/96 transfers bring out more room tone and midrange information, as well as minuscule extramusical sounds such as bench noises.

My favorite tracks among the seven selected preludes are the broad but firm G minor, a G major perfumed with delicate, hushed filigree, and a noble, beautifully spaced C-sharp minor (the famous Op. 3 No.2). On the other hand, the whirling passagework in the C minor ambles rather than scintillates, and the E-flat minor and D major pieces from Op. 23 lack tautness and melodic focus. Cliburn plays up the E-flat minor Étude-Tableau (Op. 39, No. 5) for all its heart-on-sleeve implications, with a golden, magnolia-blossom tone to match. Francis Crociata’s helpful, informative liner notes from the original LP release are reproduced in the booklet.

– ClassicsToday (Jed Distler) Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Etudes-tableaux (9) for Piano, Op. 39: no 5 in E flat minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1916-1917; Russia 
Date of Recording: 08/13/1970 
Length: 5 Minutes 12 Secs. 
2.
Sonata for Piano no 2 in B flat minor, Op. 36 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913/1931; Russia 
Date of Recording: 06/1960 
Length: 25 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: Russia (1913).
Composition revised: Russia (1931). 
3.
Preludes (10) for Piano, Op. 23: no 4 in D major, Andante cantabile by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903; Russia 
Date of Recording: 08/07/1972 
Length: 4 Minutes 41 Secs. 
4.
Preludes (13) for Piano, Op. 32: no 5 in G major, Moderato by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
Date of Recording: 07/25/1972 
Length: 3 Minutes 22 Secs. 
5.
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 
Date of Recording: 08/05/1971 
Length: 4 Minutes 3 Secs. 
6.
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 
Date of Recording: 08/07/1972 
Length: 3 Minutes 40 Secs. 
7.
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 
Date of Recording: 08/25/1972 
Length: 2 Minutes 50 Secs. 
8.
Preludes (13) for Piano, Op. 32: no 12 in G sharp minor, Allegro by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
Date of Recording: 08/04/1975 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
9.
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 
Date of Recording: 08/06/1971 
Length: 4 Minutes 47 Secs. 

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