Notes and Editorial Reviews
This release is one of four in a comprehensive survey of the many great pianists in Russia in the Soviet era. The bulk of the issues will be divided into 'schools' which represent the three main teachers of this period - Neuhaus, Goldenweiser and Igumnov - and their pupils. To launch the series APR have compiled a special issue which gathers together the first Russian recordings of all the Rachmaninov concertos. Apart from Richter's 1st Concerto these recordings have been little known in the west, yet every one of them features playing of virtuosity and passion rarely equalled to this day. Yakov Zak is somewhat forgotten today, as his career was mainly confined to the Soviet Union, yet he was one of Nehaus' greatest pupils and went on to become a great teacher at the Moscow Conservatoire himself. His recording of Rachmaninov's 4th Concerto was only the second to be made after the composer's own. Lev Oborin was a pupil of Konstantin Igumnov (to feature later in this series) and won first prize at the inaugural Chopin Competition in 1927. That he was entrusted with first recordings of the second and third concertos shows the esteem in which he was held at the time. His recording of the second from 1947 was only the third LP to be issued in Russia.