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Van Cliburn: Great Piano Concertos

Cliburn,Van
Release Date: 08/07/2012 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 7742852   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johannes BrahmsFrédéric ChopinSergei RachmaninovRobert Schumann,   ... 
Performer:  Van Cliburn
Conductor:  Erich LeinsdorfEugene OrmandyFritz ReinerWalter Hendl,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony OrchestraPhiladelphia OrchestraChicago Symphony Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 7 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Reviews of earlier releases of these recordings:

Schumann Concerto, Beethoven 5th Concerto
"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...even apart from their value as a memento of those more innocent times, these performances deserve their classic status. Warmly recommended."

-- Peter J. Rabinowitz, Fanfare
Read more [1/2008]

Chopin 1st Concerto, Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
"There are major works—the "Emperor" Concerto, the "Heroic" Polonaise of Chopin, certain pieces by Debussy, and the Chopin Concerto on this disc—that I think no one has recorded more sublimely than Van Cliburn. His mastery of shape, of pulse and rhythm, his robust vigor and the sensitivity he displays in the modulations of each phrase, make his grandly expressive playing gleam.

I hear his mastery in the very first phrases of the Chopin concerto, which is made exciting by the brio and accuracy of his playing, but also by the sense we always get with Cliburn that he is in control of the whole piece. He seems to be improvising and sculpting at the same time. On the Rachmaninov, which gives Cliburn an opportunity to demonstrate the further ranges of his technique and to exercise his taste on a piece that is often overly romanticized, he is equally exciting. The sound on this reissue is better than on my scratchy records. Hiss has been minimized tactfully."

-- Michael Ullman, Fanfare [9/1989]

Brahms 1st Concerto
"It is some eighteen months since Van Cliburn's surprisingly successful account of the Brahms Second Concerto appeared, and on the face of it this vast youthful inspiration of the First Concerto should suit Van Cliburn's special qualities even more closely. And so it proves, and though Leinsdorf and the Boston Symphony do not prove such perceptive collaborators as the lamented Reiner with his Chicago Orchestra, this is in terms of pianistic display and dynamic driving force as exciting a performance as we have ever had on record. The way for example that Van Cliburn in the finale sweeps the music on from the first subject into the second is irresistible."

-- Gramophone [3/1965]

Schumann Concerto, MacDowell 2nd Concerto
We're told that it was with MacDowell's Second Piano Concerto in D minor that Van Cliburn made his first professional appearance with an orchestra at the age of 18, some six years before ''vaulting to fame'' as winner of Moscow's first Tchaikovsky Contest in 1958. This recording was made just two years after that when he was still only 26—albeit already two years older than the precociously gifted composer himself at the time of the concerto's composition. Yes, I agree with Roger Fiske (in his review of the catalogue's only other version from Donna Amato and the LPO on Olympia/Complete Record Co, 6/87) that the work lacks an immediately recognizable face of its own. But in its bold scoring and bravura writing for the soloist, it is scarcely less arresting than any of its big romantic rivals—or so it seems in this exhilarating performance. How very good to have it on CD at last and to be reminded of the young Van Cliburn's legendary wrists, fingers and blazing inner fire. For the familiar little ''To a Wild Rose'' he finds a touching simplicity.

The Schumann Concerto was recorded just six months before the MacDowell, with Reiner instead of Hendl as conductor. Here again it's Van Cliburn's exceptional youthful ardour and elan that immediately strike home. The first movement is brought to an unusually brilliant end. But neither here nor in the finale does virtuosity take precedence: always the music speaks. Only the Intermezzo seems to need tenderness of a slightly more intimately feminine kind. The orchestral contribution is splendid throughout, and full marks go to the RCA engineers for their digital remastering.'

-- Joan Chissell, Gramophone [10/1991]

Rachmaninov 2nd Concerto, Tchaikovsky 1st Concerto
Van Cliburn's first recording made in 1958 launched a thousand plaudits, beat Elvis Presley in the charts and, more seriously, remains among the most spacious and clear-sighted of all Tchaikovsky Firsts, now released in SACD. The Rachmaninov, recorded four years later, is no less nobly self-effacing, grand and rhetorical yet without tricks or foibles; an awe-inspiring souvenir of Cliburn's great years.

-- Bryce Morrison, Gramophone [12/2004]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in D minor, Op. 15 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1854-1858; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1964 
2.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in E minor, B 53/Op. 11 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; Poland 
3.
Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, Op. 43 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1934; USA 
4.
Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 83 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878-1881; Austria 
5.
Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 54 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841-1845; Germany 
6.
Concerto for Piano no 4 in G major, Op. 58 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1806; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1961 
Venue:  Orchestra Hall, Chicago, Illinois 
7.
Concerto for Piano no 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 "Emperor" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1809; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Orchestra Hall, Chicago, Illinois 
8.
Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 16 by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868/1907; Norway 
9.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in E flat major, S 124 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849/1856; Weimar, Germany 
10.
Concerto for Piano no 2 in D minor, Op. 23 by Edward MacDowell
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Walter Hendl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884-1886; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1960 
11.
Concerto for Piano no 3 in C minor, Op. 37 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800; Vienna, Austria 
12.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Date of Recording: 1958 
Length: 34 Minutes 46 Secs. 
13.
Concerto for Piano no 2 in C minor, Op. 18 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Length: 33 Minutes 50 Secs. 
14.
Concerto for Piano no 3 in D minor, Op. 30 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Van Cliburn (Piano)
Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony of the Air
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1909; Russia 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  7 Customer Reviews )
 Remembering Van Cliburn July 17, 2014 By jan h. (fort worth, TX) See All My Reviews "Even before Van Cliburn died, I was looking for a collection of his piano concertos without having to buy several CDs. On my search, I discovered your website and could not believe my eyes when I found this collection. I listen to them everyday. We miss Van terribly in Fort Worth. He was a wonderful and kind man. Thank goodness there are recordings like these which demonstrate his true brilliance!" Report Abuse
 Poor Audio May 8, 2013 By David B. (Toronto, Ontario) See All My Reviews "Sorry, but the sound is not up to standard. I have the Van Cliburn Great Piano Concertos, and I compared the Beethoven No. 4 with the No. 5. The No. 5 sound is way superior. DaveB" Report Abuse
 All this for around twenty bucks?!!! January 25, 2013 By Brian  S. (Monroe, NC) See All My Reviews "I had several LP's of these recordings that got destroyed. I missed them. They may not be an "audiophiles" dream, but it's a great collection and may not be available forever. The Brahms' 2nd concerto is my favorite. Or Rach variations. Or.... Well worth it." Report Abuse
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