Liszt: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2

Liszt: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2

5.0 1
by Byron Janis
     
 

It's not always sufficiently appreciated that beginning around 1960, more than a decade before so-called ping pong diplomacy opened doors between the U.S. and Communist China, there was an effort to promote the same goals involving exchanges of classical musicians between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. For the Russians, performances like those here must have had the… See more details below

Overview

It's not always sufficiently appreciated that beginning around 1960, more than a decade before so-called ping pong diplomacy opened doors between the U.S. and Communist China, there was an effort to promote the same goals involving exchanges of classical musicians between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. For the Russians, performances like those here must have had the flavor of a prodigal son's return, for piano performance, especially, in the U.S. was deeply shaped by Russian traditions. The bulk of this fine reissue was recorded in 1962 at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, and full credit is due to the engineers who have encountered these performances along the way (this compilation dates from 1990 and was reissued in 2011 by the Newton Classics label in the Netherlands); what must have been just fair Soviet sound has been given its best face. Pianist Byron Janis absolutely tears into the two Liszt concertos, with tortured slow movements in which one can almost imagine the great crowd-pleaser himself on-stage, and fast rhythmic music that seems to scale impossible new peaks of intensity as it proceeds. The special standout is the performance of the "Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major, S. 125," with the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra under Gennady Rozhdestvensky, who feeds off of Janis' pushed tempos and gives the effective illusion that the orchestra is just a step behind in the race, about to catch up. The short piano pieces by Liszt, Schumann, de Falla, and David Guion, recorded at the same session and one a year earlier in New York, testify to Janis' gifts in more intimate but still technically compelling recital repertoire, and all in all this recording remains a fine keepsake of what many consider American classical music's golden age.

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/26/2011
Label:
Newton Classics
UPC:
8718247710584
catalogNumber:
8802058
Rank:
293199

Tracks

  1. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S. 124 (LW H4)  - Franz Liszt  - Byron Janis  - Kirill Kondrashin  -  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra  - Jan Martin Wilschut
  2. Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major, S. 125 (LW H6)  - Franz Liszt  - Byron Janis  - Gennady Rozhdestvensky  - Jan Martin Wilschut  -  Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
  3. Hungarian Rhapsody, for piano No. 6 in D flat major, S. 244/6 (LW A132/6)  - Franz Liszt  - Byron Janis  - Jan Martin Wilschut
  4. Valse oubliée, for piano No. 1, S. 215/1 (LW A311/1)  - Franz Liszt  - Byron Janis  - Jan Martin Wilschut
  5. Romance for piano in F sharp major (Einfach), Op. 28/2  - Robert Schumann  - Byron Janis  - Jan Martin Wilschut
  6. Novellette for piano in F major, Op. 21/1  - Robert Schumann  - Byron Janis  - Jan Martin Wilschut
  7. El Sombrero de tres picos, suite from the ballet for piano: The Miller's Dance  - Manuel de Falla  - Byron Janis  - Jan Martin Wilschut
  8. Sonetto del Petrarca No. 104 (Pace non trovo; I) for piano (Tre sonetti No. 1), S. 158/1  - Franz Liszt  - Byron Janis  - Jan Martin Wilschut
  9. The Harmonica Player, for piano  - David Guion  - Byron Janis  - Jan Martin Wilschut

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