Although William Kapell left studio recordings of these concertos in the course of his tragically short career, these live counterparts, issued for the first time, are in no way redundant. The Khachaturian captures the 21-year-old pianist in friskier, more headlong fettle than in his studio traversal two years later. Eugene Ormandy, moreover, obtains a leaner, sharper profile from the Philadelphia Orchestra than Serge Koussevitsky's more massively textured, slower paced, and rhythmically softer-grained accompaniments with his Boston Symphony forces. Indeed, the slow movement clocks in three minutes faster under Ormandy, while the finale emerges in a lighter, jazzier, and more playful vein (the trumpet solo at the outset swings to highRead more heaven!).
What the 1951 Rachmaninov Second lacks in sonic crispness is compensated by a realistic sense of proportion between the piano, the orchestra, and the Carnegie Hall audience, without the cramped, spotlit balances that characterize Kapell's 1950 studio version. The pianist's conception of the music had ripened over the past year. His rubatos in the slow movement, for example, ebb and flow to less sectionalized effect, and the Finale's vertiginous runs take more effortless, scintillating wing. Leonard Bernstein's vital and disciplined support also helps to jack the expressive stakes up several notches. Tim Page's loving, informative notes make marvelous reading. No Kapell connoisseur should miss this release. [10/4/2002]
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Concerto for Piano no 2 in C minor, Op. 18by Sergei Rachmaninov Performer:
William Kapell (Piano)
New York Philharmonic
Period: Romantic Written: Russia Date of Recording: 02/18/1951 Notes: Composition written: Russia (1900 - 1901).
Concerto for Piano in D flat majorby Aram Khachaturian Performer:
William Kapell (Piano)
Period: 20th Century Written: 1936; USSR Date of Recording: 04/08/1944
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18: I. Moderato - Allegro
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18: II. Adagio sostenuto
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18: III. Allegro scherzando
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