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Comp Pno Ctos/Rhap On A Theme


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Aug. 10 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B00000JWIW
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #194,688 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 1 In F Sharp Minor: I Vivace
2. Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 1 In F Sharp Minor: II Andante
3. Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 1 In F Sharp Minor: III Allegro vivace
4. Piano Concerto No. 4, Op. 40 In G Minor: I Allegro
5. Piano Concerto No. 4, Op. 40 In G Minor: II Largo
6. Piano Concerto No. 4, Op. 40 In G Minor: III Allegro vivace
7. Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini, Op. 43
Disc: 2
1. Piano Concerto No.2, Op.18 In C Minor: I. Moderato
2. Piano Concerto No.2, Op.18 In C Minor: II. Adagio sostenuto
3. III. Allegro scherzando
4. Piano Concerto No.3, Op.30 In D Minor: I. Allegro
5. Piano Concerto No.3, Op.30 In D Minor: II. Intermezzo: Adagio
6. III. Finale: Allegro

Customer Reviews

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As a pianist with an affinity for the romantic, my introduction to Earl Wild and Rachmaninov was when, in the 1960s, my mother bought us the Readers Digest set of records (when they first came out) from which this CD is made -- it was love at first sight (hearing)! (Guess who took the records with him when he went off to college??!). I thought these were wonderful recordings and interpretations when I first heard them (despite my youth and inexperience then), and now approx. 40 years later (having heard a number of other recordings in the intervening years), my opinion is unchanged. Being a romantic pianist in the spirit of Rachmaninov and Horowitz, Earl Wild sets a very high standard here. It doesn't get any better than this. Only two regrets -- the lack of the full uncut version of the 3rd (the cuts were sanctioned by the composer in a time when audience attention spans were not nearly so long as they are today), and the notable and very regrettable absence of the Isle of the Dead from this CD (which was also on the original set of 1960s records -- an evocative, exciting tone poem in its own right, rendered as well or better than any other I've heard by Horsenstein and company. Wild's 1st and 2nd concerti and Rhapsody from this set are the best I've heard and are still the standard by which I judge other performances of the same pieces (ditto for the Isle of the Dead).
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Don't get led astray, as I did, by the notion that for such intensely Russian pieces as these that a Russian virtuoso pianist is going to be the best choice. I find Earl Wild's musicianship in these recordings to be superior to that of Ashkenazy and Kissin. Rachmaninoff has grandeur to burn, so trading off a smidgen of that for a sense of romantic urgency pays big, big dividends.
If the name Jascha Horenstein is not familiar to you, he has been credited with what is widely regarded as a must-have performance of Mahler's 3rd, which should speak volumes about his ability as a conductor. The orchestra sounds rather more forward at times than it usually does in recordings of Rachmaninoff, perhaps too much so at times, but it is somewhat refreshing to point up the fact that these are indeed *concertos* and not just piano solos with superfluous orchestra accompaniment.
Highly recommended!
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One could not find two more musical opposites than Earl Wild and Jascha Horenstein. Wild the often firey romantic and Horenstein an at times reserved but ever compelling conductor. There is no finer proof that opposites attract than in the performances of Rachmaninov's concertos with these two. The full blown romantic spirit has infected both performers to provide some very stimulating performances. Originally recorded by Charles Gerhardt for Reader's Digest the 1960's sound is rich and detailed putting many modern recordings to shame. It should be noted that Wild performs the 3rd Concerto with the few minor cuts that the composer sanctioned but that is a very minor reservation when one hears the artistry of Wild and Horenstein.
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By A Customer on April 10 2002
Wild plays all the concertos just gorgeously. All are amazing, however, I couldn't help but feel disappointed by the 3rd concerto on this disc. Lots of cuts, but it is just amazing. Great quality for the 1960's. His thrid is still one of my favourites, despite the cuts. Earl wild has amazing technique and speed. All these pieces are played very expressively and the Orchestra is great.
He plays the 1st and 2nd outstandingly. His 3rd is one of the best, I've never really been a fan of the 4th, although he plays it better than most. Lastly his paganini Rhapsody is by far one of my favourites
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By Terry Kildal on Feb. 7 2002
The collaboration between Wild and Horenstein is breathtaking. The sound of the orchestra has a presence that I have not found on any other set. I prefer this 3rd concerto to any of the others I have heard...for it's sheer excitement. I have heard all of the Horowitz versions, Kissin, Volodos,Cliburn,Janis,Gavrilov, Ashkenazy and this beats them. While all of the others have spectacular moments, on the whole this 3rd is the best. (Some will want to have another rendition because of the shortened cadenza and I can understand this). If you have only one set, this is the one to own.
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I first heard these gorgeous renditions when they were first released on long-play stereo records. My husband and I (both professional musicians) were truly impressed--need I say "flabbergasted" at the wonderful playing and the orchestral integrity. Rachmaninoff needs to be performed by those who have big souls and wondrous imaginations, and both these performers fit the bill. Anyone who truly loves the grandeur of Russian romantic music will find this food for the soul.
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