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Gieseking - 3 Legendary Concert Performances

Release Date: 02/26/2002 
Label:  Music & Arts Programs Of America Catalog #: 1095   Spars Code: AAD 
Composer:  Sergei RachmaninovCésar FranckClaude Debussy
Performer:  Walter Gieseking
Conductor:  Sir John BarbirolliWillem Mengelberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonic Symphony OrchestraRoyal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Works on This Recording

Concerto for Piano no 3 in D minor, Op. 30 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Walter Gieseking (Piano)
Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1909; Russia 
Date of Recording: 02/1939 
Length: 39 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Symphonic Variations for Piano and Orchestra, M 46 by César Franck
Performer:  Walter Gieseking (Piano)
Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; France 
Date of Recording: 10/31/1940 
Length: 14 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Fantaisie for Piano and Orchestra by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Walter Gieseking (Piano)
Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1889-1890; France 
Date of Recording: 10/06/1938 
Length: 20 Minutes 35 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 On the Playing of Walter Gieseking August 25, 2013 By George Klump (La Crescenta, CA) See All My Reviews "It was my privilege to hear Walter Gieseking in person on three occasions following WW II. One was his first appearance in Los Angeles after an absence of 17 years in the 1953-54 season, a solo recital, and the other two in concerto programs with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1955 in the Hollywood Bowl. On the first of these occasions I was not fortunate enough to hear him play Rachmaninoff, but I can certainly understand the enthusiasm of Yenda Smejdal whose written notes for this CD fairly glow with each sentence. Here is an artist whose solo recital was sold out in a matter of days. The old Philharmonic auditorium with its six balconies was not only full, the pit itself had been sold out and a few people were standing around the walls. Gieseking did not disappoint that evening and at the close of his recital, which ended with Ravel's Ondine, he returned to wild but sincere applause to reward the audience with TEN encores ending the tenth one by closing the fall board on the piano some 50 minutes later. At the Hollywood Bowl, the entire second half of the program was turned over to Gieseking, the solo artist, something which had never been done in the history of the Hollywood Bowl before or since. In my library is a 78 recording of Gieseking playing the Franck 'Symphonic Variations', a recording made about 1948. Along with this is a CD of the Rachmaninoff 2nd and 3rd piano concertos with Willem Mengelberg and the Concertgebouw Orchestra made, I believe, in 1937. Looking just at the Piano Concerto #3 here, I would have to agree with Smejdal that it is quite possibly the finest performance of this work ever recorded. . . .and I have at least four other recordings of it from 78's to 33's to this CD, including a performance by Rechmaninoff himself. One might quibble with Gieseking in the opening of this third concerto in which he takes a much slower tempo than one will hear on any other recording known to me. However, Gieseking maintained that this was the original tempo the composer had indicated in his manuscript, a tempo which was later changed to the faster one we usually hear today perhaps at the time it was published. In any case no recording in my library, which includes that of Rachmaninoff himself, surpasses this one. In fact it would not really be a stretch to say no other really matches it for sheer musicality at the moment of performance. So Gieseking misses a note once in a while. Who cares? Every bit of the romanticism the composer wrote into this concerto is there. . . .in spades. It seems safe enough to suggest that there is no known recording of this concerto to match it much less surpass it. And it comes off this way even more so with repeated listening. Not a performance one can stand to hear just once a year or just to be able to say you own a copy. Musically, this performance stands at the top of what is humanly possible. Fortunate, indeed, were all those present to hear it in person." Report Abuse
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