"Although the U.S.S.R.'s system of identifying and training musically talented youngsters produced amazingly precocious pianists on a regular basis, Evgeny Kissin stood out from the rest for a talent far surpassing that of the usual Wunderkind. He has become, seemingly without difficulty, one of the finest adult pianists on the world's concert stages…"
"Kissin's U.S. debut recital confirmed his status as a major pianist. The Prokofiev Sonata No. 6, one of Kissin's specialties since he was in his early teens, is very fluent and impressive, but it doesn't have the power the music needs for maximum impact. In fact, a lack of really powerful bass from the pianist's left hand (not a fault of the recording) lightens the weight of his playing throughout. But both sets of Schumann Variations are convincingly played (and contrasted), and Kissin's Liszt playing is as dazzling as any you'll hear". – Leslie Gerber
The young Kissin was able to work wonders in Prokofiev–above all the Sixth Sonata (Kissin in Tokyo - Yevgeny Kissin). Regrettably, the mature Kissin recently delivered highly disappointing live performances of the Second and Third Concertos (Prokofiev: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3), indeed, regardless of the predictable rave in the British press. This 1994 recording of the First and Third Concertos is unquestionably very good, especially the youthful First, although competition is very strong–from Graffman/Szell (Prokofiev: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3) and Argerich/Dutoit (Prokofiev: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3 / Bartok: Piano Concerto No. 3) in this coupling, and from the complete sets by Berman/Gutierrez/Järvi, Toradze/Gergiev and Krainev/Kitaenko.
This was Jimmy's best selling album ever but the title is very misleading in that these are all studio recordings, not live recordings, which means they weren't recorded at Carnegie Hall, but the tracks are in the order he performed them at a Carnegie Hall concert one week prior to recording the first dozen in the studio of this double album. This is actually the first time all of the original master tapes of this album were used as the songs recorded in mono were on all previous issues in rechanneled stereo while the true stereo tracks…
The late 1950s were tough on Judy Garland, but this live recording, cut on April 23, 1961, at Carnegie Hall, would (rightfully) bring the legendary icon back into the spotlight. Live would go on to win five Grammys, be Garland's bestselling record, and confirm that, yes, on certain levels, she still had it. Her vocals are as strong as ever on these tunes, and Garland has fun with an audience obviously enraptured by her charms. She's self-deprecating where necessary–on "You Go to My Head" she "forgets" the lyrics but pretends to improvise. Mostly she just shines, especially on tunes she made famous, such as "Come Rain or Come Shine," "Stormy Weather," and "Over the Rainbow." This is easily one of pop music's greatest live recordings and a fine testament to Garland's recorded legacy. This two-CD set has been remastered for EMI's 40th-anniversary reissue to coincide with the ABC film based on daughter Lorna Luft's memoir Me and My Shadows.
Although Clifford Brown did a phenomenal amount of commercial recordings during his all too brief lifetime (he died prior to his 26th birthday in a car crash that also took the life of his quintet's pianist Richie Powell, Bud's younger brother), relatively few of the recordings he made were on stage. Fortunately, this CD includes performances from two 1956 broadcasts from the old Basin Street club in New York City, and two tracks from a Carnegie Hall concert the previous year…
This is the second of Brilliant's box sets devoted to Russian recordings from Evgeny Kissin. Labeled as early, these live concert performances from 1984 to 1990 carry us from the day after Kissin turned 13 (Mozart Cto. #12 K. 414) to age 18 (Mozart Cto. #20, K. 466), with most readings clustering in the range of 1985-89. Russians were well aware of the marvel in their midst; the pianist's American breakthrough occurred in 1990 when he debuted at Carnegie Hall's centennial season. No one since Richter, debuting almost thirty years before, had made such a heady entry, and Richter was past fifty when he came here (briefly, since he loathed American capitalism and the pace of life in our big cities).
DG offers a terrific bargain here that anyone who follows this celebrated pianist will want to hear.