This magnificent collection spans almost half a century, from three of Rachmaninov's Op 39 Etudes-Tableaux that Vladimir Ashkenazy recorded in 1963, to his version of the First Sonata, which was released two years ago. It's wonderfully comprehensive, including the four piano concertos and the Paganini Rhapsody, the works for two pianos (the Suites and the Symphonic Dances with André Previn, some smaller-scale pieces with Ashkenazy's son Vovka), and all manner of occasional pieces and transcriptions as well as the major solo piano works.
Rachmaninov's opus 1, his first piano concerto, deserves to be heard more often. The opening bars have that heroic sound that raises the hair on the back of the neck. Indeed those first moments rank alongside those of the Grieg and Tchaikovsky piano concertos for their ability to thrill. Ashkenazy's breathtaking playing on a superb piano is matched by that of the Concertgebouw Orchestra under Haitink's direction.
A 50-CD set of legendary recordings celebrating the world-renowned Decca Sound. Classic-status pioneering stereo recordings from the past 60 years and starring a galaxy of internationally-acclaimed artistic talent.
A large collection of classical music, released by Decca Records. The collection consists of 34 issues, on CD 5 each.
Decca Records - British record label founded in 1929 by Edward Lewis. Decca Records released recordings of various genres, including jazz, rock, pop and classical music.
Mats Lidström is that rare thing, an original musician. The sheer mercurial energy which drives his performances can be both engaging and disturbing, but there is always a searching intelligence at work. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra lost much when its compelling, if unpredictable, lead cellist departed. These two concertos show him at his persuasive best, bringing lesser known works to life. Kabalevsky’s 1964 Concerto stretches and yawns with slow pizzicato before springing into urgent life. Sub-Shostakovich in its motifs and tonality, it is nevertheless well-constructed and uses the saxophone to great effect. In both Allegro movements Lidström achieves a lightning speed and attack and, though Raphael Wallfisch’s recording on Nimbus has a more solid beauty of tone, the Swede’s nervous anticipation makes up for the thinner sound of his Grancino cello. Khachaturian’s 1946 Concerto would make a wonderful soundtrack to a cinematic faux-Oriental extravaganza, with its twisting major and minor intervals, and almost sleazy chromaticism. Lidström really knows how to swing, and makes the most of the memorable melodies.
Following their album of French music for two pianos, father and son Vladimir and Vovka Ashkenazy revel in their musical heritage with this dazzling programme by the great composers of Russia, with Rachmaninov's two-piano Suite No.1 at its heart. Three of the works have been arranged by Vovka Ashkenazy himself, including Mussorgsky's Night On The Bald Mountain and the album's virtuosic finale - Borodin's Polovtsian Dances from his opera Prince Igor. His two-piano arrangement of Glinka's lilting Valse-fantaisie is itself based on Sergei Lyapunov's arrangement for four hands. The two works originally written for two pianos are Rachmaninov's poetic Suite no 1, Op. 5 "Fantaisie Tableaux" (which the young composer dedicated to another giant of Russian music - Piotr Tchaikovsky) and the Fantasy in A minor by Rachmaninov's contemporary at the Moscow Conservatoire, Scriabin.
Vladimir Horowitz – The Complete Original Jacket Collection is a 70 CD boxed set featuring most of the recordings of the pianist Vladimir Horowitz. The collection contains recordings from 1928 to his final recording session just four days before his death in 1989.