Notes and Editorial Reviews
The Belgian-American pianist Tedd Joselson was only 17 when he auditioned for the Philadelphia Orchestra’s music director Eugene Ormandy in 1973. After Joselson played, the famous conductor said to him: “You just go ahead and choose your repertory. Anything you want you can play with us.” Without ever having entered a competition, Joselson was soon playing with not only the Philadelphia but also a number of other American orchestras. Ormandy recommended him to RCA, who offered Joselson a recording contract while he was still a student at the Juilliard School in New York. The critically acclaimed LPs he made over the next several years attracted a considerable following among collectors, and they and a new generation of listeners will be pleased to know that Sony Classical is issuing them for the very first time on CD in a six-disc box set.
While the repertoire in these recordings includes accounts of great Romantic sonatas – Liszt’s B minor and Chopin’s Second and Third – as well as the Ravel G major Concerto, Joselson’s main focus is on the Russians, including his recording of the Tchaikovsky First Concerto from 1974 with Ormandy and the Philadelphia as well as Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition from two years later. The composer for whom he found the greatest affinity, however – already as a child he was electrified by hearing a performance of the Second Piano Concerto – was Prokofiev. The new CD set includes Joselson’s 1974 recording of that hair-raising concerto with Ormandy and the Philadelphia along with his reading of the more popular Third, from 1978, with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under Eduardo Mata, as well as solo piano works including Sonatas Nos. 2, 6, 7, 8 and 9 and the Visions fugitives. Reviewing the original LP releases, High Fidelity wrote: “Joselson obviously has a feel for Prokofiev: His way with the bittersweet Visions fugitives has the same lyricism and coloristic nuance I admired in his recordings of the Second Concerto and Second and Eighth Sonatas.” Gramophone also praised “Joselson's special empathy for Prokofiev's music”. Piano lovers will be able to appreciate it again, or for the first time, in Sony Classical’s newly remastered collection.