On the evidence of the 1954/55 sessions reissued here, Nadia Reisenberg and Russian miniatures were well matched. Fifty years on, the pianist's recording of Kabalevsky's delightful 24 Preludes Op. 38 still holds its own by virtue of her rhythmic verve, warm, singing tone, and ability to give fresh voice to each movement. While the Tchaikovsky works demand relatively little in terms of virtuoso technique, Reisenberg's gift for arching long lines and subtly pointing up harmonic felicities easily hold up over repeated hearings. And Rachmaninov's overplayed C-sharp minor Prelude rings out with the booming bass lines and tolling chords in an ideal interactive state. In Polka de V.R., Reisenberg manages to keep the inner lines afloat and alive inRead more relation to the main right-hand melodic material--not the easiest task. My one quibble concerns the dry, somewhat hardened sonics. Occasional distortion and breakup in loud passages leads me to suspect that Ivory Classics' transfers were effected from mint LP copies rather than original Westminster label master tapes. That aside, this release is a worthy centenary tribute to a respected pianist and teacher.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less
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