- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : はい
- 製品サイズ : 13.97 x 12.55 x 1.14 cm; 104.33 g
- メーカー : Sony
- EAN : 0074646233825
- オリジナル盤発売日 : 2012
- レーベル : Sony
- ASIN : B0000029P6
- ディスク枚数 : 1
- Amazon 売れ筋ランキング: - 1,624,613位ミュージック (の売れ筋ランキングを見るミュージック)
Claudio Arrau in the early 1950s offered in his performances an ideal blend of deep thinking and glittering virtuosity, traits in abundance in these spectacular recordings. The spontaneity often missing from his later efforts suffuses all of these works, and he's aided by Eugene Ormandy's great orchestra. The Hungarian Rhapsodies are dazzling, full of excitement and even humor. The Fantasia sounds like a major work in Arrau's hands, full of poetic flair, and featuring unbelievably even trills, pregnant with meaning. The Concerto works on a similarly exalted level, with Arrau's bronze tone and impeccable technique scaling the heights of lyricism without stinting on drama and excitement. All in all, a must-have for Lisztians and keyboard devotees. ---Dan Davis
This E-flat major concerto 1952 recording (on February, 17 at the Philadelphia Academy of Music, with Eugene Ormandy conducting The Philadelphia Orchestra) is legendary because it had been engraved in a single take. This means that here we get both the effects of a live and of a studio (mono) recording; this is rare and the combined result is really exceptional. No coughs and hall noises disturb a sparkling, fresh, expressive, unitary performance, rendered in a very good and clean sound, obviously a bit "dry".
Equally astonishing are the rare studio recordings of the Fantasia in E minor on Hungarian Folk Songs (same date, location, conductor and orchestra of the concert) and of the Hungarian Rhapsodies Nos. 11, 10, 8 ("nearly impossible" - Arrau), 9 and 13. The Rhapsodies are what remains of an abandoned Columbia project (two sessions on 18 or 24 October 1951 and 22 February 1952, at Columbia's 30th Street Studios, New York), lovingly collected by Peter Warwick, submitted to Arrau's personal approval and not issued before the 1970s'.
In Claudio Arrau's evolution, here we are at a fundamental turning point: reached the peak of modern pianism (at the time, Arrau was a "modern" pianist!), in which in any case persisted some obligation towards an (also) "spectacular" and "bravura" demand, Arrau will soon start another path, another "recherche". Someone supposes that Arrau, after his sixties (he was born in 1903), had gradually to change his approach (slowing down tempos, for instance) to face the physiological fading of his technique. This is not the case, as studio and live recordings from the 1960', 1970s' and even 1980s' clearly demonstrate. On the contrary, the question is if it could have been interesting or stimulating for a "truth seeker" as Arrau to crystallize himself inside the attained "perfection" (after the first and sole Piano Concerto recording session, Eugene Ormandy himself stated "We're done. It can't be better than this." - and, obviously, also he and his Orchestra had performed exceptionally well!).
Differently, starting from what of perfect is so clearly engraved in this CD, during his whole successive career, Arrau will constantly add something else, something more, deeper, warmer, travelling towards transcendency. In other words, these invaluable recordings show us the objectification of what for many others would have been only a dreamed aspiration.
Otherwise, from these heights, Arrau will start to search a superior and freer form of expression, fighting every unjustified physical or psychological stiffness or constraint, as vanity, in particular, or a natural ambition to infallibility. During the following years, sometimes we will hear a few more false note and, in general, few sparkling effects, particularly in studio recordings.
n my opinion, Arrau will plentifully gain in depth, warmth and expressivity; the last Arrau very often will play in an evident state of transfiguration. Which is the Arrau to prefer? My answer is: are we really obliged to choose? Different days bring different moods ... In general I prefer the last Arrau, but the day I listened to this CD I deeply fell in love with it too!
A brief note on the packaging: this 1996 issue is presented in a very original and pleasant mill board booklet-like box, reproducing old-fashioned Columbia disc covers, completed with interesting articles and nice artwork. This aspect makes it "more poetic" and, for the collectors, preferable to the 2002 issue of the same contents (see: Liszt: Concerto pour piano No.1 ).
This Sony reissue opens with the E-flat major concerto, which was made when Arrau was forty-nine and captures the pianist at his stunning best. According to Arrau's long-time manager, Friede Rothe, the concerto was recorded in one uninterrupted take after which Eugene Ormandy said "We're done. It can't be better than this." Arrau, ever the perfectionist in the studio, apparently agreed, for this is a performance that convinces in every detail - from the reflective elements of the first three movements which have a serenity and beauty that are hallmarks of this great pianist, to the kaleidoscopic whirlwind of the fourth movement where Arrau unleashes cascades of glittering notes.
The Hungarian Fantasy, which was the companion piece recorded for the original LP release and is included on this cd, receives a fine performance; however, it's too bad Arrau didn't record the A Major concerto instead, because his live performances demonstrate that he was truly a great interpreter of this concerto. His 1943 concert with Mitropoulos (Music & Arts) is representative, but the more expansive 1953 traversal with Guido Cantelli and the NY Philharmonic (Archipel) is unforgettable.
In 1951, Arrau began recording a complete cycle of the Hungarian Rhapsodies, however, after setting down the five rhapsodies included on this disc the project was abandoned. (In an 80th birthday retrospective of Arrau's work in 1983, one of the Gramophone critics wrote that "this series, if finished, would surely have been the most distinguished complete recording of these sadly exploited works.") While the rhapsodies are often played for effect, that's not the case here where the Hungarian folk elements are given a full airing out in a musically sympathetic, but understated way. Arrau's declamatory approach is very fitting, especially in the better-known ninth rhapsody (Pesht Carnival), combining extravagance with riveting technical proficiency. Interestingly, Arrau seems to find cubist patterns in this music, with some phrases being shaped into geometric blocks of sound. I find the interpretations fascinating, reflecting a 19th century way of playing (Arrau's incredible rolling chords are romantic flourishes that no one could get away with today) along with elements of modernism.
While the performances of all of the rhapsodies are outstanding, the thirteenth is in a category by itself. The opening section is a wrenching emotional statement where Arrau practically makes the piano weep, whereas the finale is a controlled frenzy, something that the pianist didn't often deliver in the recording studio.
In summary, this is Liszt playing in the grand manner with all of the scope and nuances that only Claudio Arrau, a direct inheritor of the Liszt tradition, could bring to the keyboard.
With lots of stress and tension in the lives of so many of us, it is a pleasure to be able to put on this CD and listen to it as a collection of masterpieces. The beauty of the music makes me listen to it while not reading a book or answering e-mail etc. Many people have not heard these various works of Liszt. I very highly recommend this CD