Shura Cherkassy: The Complete HMV Stereo Recordings

Shura Cherkassy: The Complete HMV Stereo Recordings

by Shura Cherkassky
     
 

Unlike Vladimir Horowitz, who generally only ever recorded for RCA Victor or Columbia, pianist Shura Cherkassky, sometimes called "The Last of the Great Piano Romantics" in his later years, left a grab bag legacy of recordings ranging from his 78 rpm 1929 HMVs to his final Nimbus Records releases and live recitals, recorded by UK…  See more details below

Overview

Unlike Vladimir Horowitz, who generally only ever recorded for RCA Victor or Columbia, pianist Shura Cherkassky, sometimes called "The Last of the Great Piano Romantics" in his later years, left a grab bag legacy of recordings ranging from his 78 rpm 1929 HMVs to his final Nimbus Records releases and live recitals, recorded by UK Decca, in the 1980s and '90s. This First Hand Remasters issue, Shura Cherkassky: The Complete HMV Stereo Recordings, collects a specific part of that legacy into a single package. It is not appropriate to refer to it as a reissue as these recordings date between 1956 and 1958 and though made entirely in stereo, the stereo LP itself did not make its bow until the very end of that timeline; even afterward, EMI observed a policy of issuing most of its recordings in mono only. So very little of this material appeared on stereo even on LPs, and very little of it has appeared on CD. From the standpoint of a package, this First Hand Remasters release is everything it should be; the two-disc set is fully documented and comes with good writing and a decent-sized book, which is tempered nevertheless by practical economics. It's overall run time of just under two hours may strike some as a little stingy, but that naturally is dictated by the material itself. The recordings, taken from the first generation stereo masters in the EMI vaults, are excellent though very occasionally some flutter is audible. The program is very wide ranging and reflects Cherkassky's interests, running from Chopin at one end to George Gershwin and some selections from Abram Chasins' rarely recorded music at the other. About the only issue with this recording might be a subjective one; despite the "Last of the Great Piano Romantics" tag, Cherkassky's playing here is always very clean, straightforward, and well-balanced and he never goes out on a limb in terms of expression. The annotators conclude that this period represents Cherkassky's best work, and it may, but those familiar with his late recordings will note that there are far more instances of risk-taking in that body of work than here. Nevertheless, Cherkassky's fan base will definitely take interest in this, as it provides so much elusive material on this pianist in better sound than ever before, not to mention being generally well done and well worth its value.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/11/2009
Label:
First Hand
UPC:
5060051619465
catalogNumber:
4

Tracks

  1. Chaconne, transcription for piano in D minor (after J. S. Bach, BWV 1004), KiV B24
  2. Bagatelle for piano in G minor, Op. 119/1
  3. Impromptu for piano in A flat major, D. 899/4 (Op. 90/4)
  4. Mazurka for piano No. 7 in F minor, Op. 7/3, CT. 58
  5. Waltz for piano No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 18, CT. 207
  6. Nocturne for piano No. 8 in D flat major, Op. 27/2, CT. 115
  7. Ballade for piano No. 2 in F major, Op. 38, CT. 3
  8. Ballade for piano No. 3 in A flat major, Op. 47, CT. 4
  9. Hungarian Rhapsody, for piano No. 13 in A minor, S. 244/13 (LW A132/13)
  10. Valse de l'opéra Faust, transcription for piano (after Gounod), S. 407 (LW A208)
  11. Concerto Symphonique for piano & orchestra No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 102: Scherzo
  12. The Swan (from "Carnival of the Animals"), original (for 2 pianos & ensemble) and arrangements
  13. Musical Snuffbox, for piano (or orchestra), Op. 32
  14. Prelude for piano No.6 in G minor, Op. 23/5
  15. Prelude for piano No.3 in B flat major, Op. 23/2
  16. Preludes (3) for piano
  17. Trois pièces, for piano, FP 48: Toccata
  18. Chinese Pieces (3) for piano
  19. Preludes (3) for piano
  20. Ballade for piano No. 3 in A flat major, Op. 47, CT. 4

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