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Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No 3 / Kondrashin, Janis


Release Date: 05/10/2005 
Label:  Mercury Living Presence   Catalog #: 000449936   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Sergei ProkofievSergei RachmaninovRobert SchumannFelix Mendelssohn,   ... 
Performer:  Byron Janis
Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

Although the original 3-track 35mm magnetic film sources for these early-1960s recordings are missing, the 3-channel half-inch master tapes sound quite lifelike, detailed, and dynamically varied as experienced in surround-sound. More importantly, they capture pianist Byron Janis at the peak of his artistry. His gaunt yet penetrating sonority and tremendous fingerpower come home to roost in the Prokofiev Third Concerto's big fortissimo chords and brilliant, whimsical passagework. Kyril Kondrashin's pointed, alert podium support proves a key asset, in spite of the Moscow Philharmonic's papery brass section.


I've always
Read more admired Janis' first recording of the Rachmaninov First Concerto for RCA for its coiled objectivity and stellar orchestral framework, courtesy of Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony. However, the Mercury remake stands out for Kondrashin's more pronounced yet organically conceived tempo contrasts. These in turn galvanize Janis' stylish bravura to greater heights, even when the orchestra is not playing (the first-movement cadenza, for example, yields nothing to Richter nor even to the composer's own jaw-dropping virtuosity).


The solo selections impress no less. Janis plays the Prokofiev Toccata like music rather than the empty-headed showpiece too many pianists make it out to be, while the Schumann and Mendelssohn works offer a wide degree of nuance within Janis' circumscribed color palette. If any disc can bring audiophiles and pianophiles together, this is it.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano no 3 in C major, Op. 26 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Byron Janis (Piano)
Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917-1921; USA 
Venue:  Moscow, Russia 
2.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 1 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Byron Janis (Piano)
Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891/1917; Russia 
Venue:  Moscow, Russia 
3.
Toccata for Piano in D minor, Op. 11 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Byron Janis (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; Russia 
Venue:  Moscow, Russia 
4.
Sonata for Piano no 3 in F minor, Op. 14 "Concert sans orchestre": 4th movement, Quasi variazioni by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Byron Janis (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835-1836; Germany 
Venue:  Moscow, Russia 
5.
Songs without words, vol 5, Op. 62: no 1, Andante espressivo in G major "May Breezes" by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Byron Janis (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844; Germany 
Venue:  Moscow, Russia 
6.
Scenas infantis by Octavio Pinto
Performer:  Byron Janis (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Brazil 
Venue:  Moscow, Russia 

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