These concertos are brilliantly performed and make a great package for anyone wanting to build a classical music collection on a budget. Philippe Entremont was a child prodigy, winning awards when he was a teenager, which explains the technical and artistic excellence of these recordings; the concertos were recorded in 1961 and '63, when he was in his mid twenties, but the "Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini", which is a spectacular rendition, was recorded when he was 23, and already a mature and seasoned pianist. I remember seeing him in Carnegie Hall at around this time period, and his musicianship was flawless, despite his youth.
Youth of course is no barrier to genius, as Rachmaninov composed his Piano Concerto # 1 when he was 18, performing it in 1892 in his student years...though he revised it in 1917, it is still Rachmaninov's "Opus 1".
The 4th Concerto was written much later, after he had emigrated to the U.S., in 1926.
The "Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini" is one of my very favorite pieces by Rachmaninov, based on Paganini's "Caprice in A Minor", it is lush and romantic, and one I never tire of hearing.
Entremont is ably backed by the great Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and this is a terrific CD for anyone who doesn't insist on the latest in sound technology for their music, and considers the interpretation a higher priority; though this disc has been well re-mastered, these recordings are still over 40 years old, and sound a little "thin". Total playing time is 73'24.