ALEXIS WEISSENBERG - COMPLETE RCA RECORDINGS
Bulgarian-born Alexis Weissenberg (1929-2012) is generally overlooked today although during his era he was one of the major pianists. In 1945 he went to Palestine for further studies and was so impressive that he played a Beethoven concerto with the Israel Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Bernstein. After coming to the U.S. he studied with Artur Schnabel and Wanda Landowska. His U. S. debut was in 1957 with George Szell and the New York Philharmonic playing Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 3, which was s a specialty of his. That season he also performed with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Shortly after this debut he took an extended rest from the concert stage until 1965, then resuming his career. One might say that he started at the top and stayed there, giving countless concerts and making numerous recordings. All of his RCA recordings are found in this fine RCA set, recordings made from to l949- 1967. It includes a few Columbia recordings from 1949.
Remember this RCA set is only part of the great pianist's legacy. Also available are many other superb recordings including Brahms Concerto No. 1 (Giulini), Prokofiev Concerto No. 3, Ravel Concerto and Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue (Ozawa), all of the Beethoven concertos, and with Karajan, Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 2 and Thaikovsky. Rachmaninoff No. 3 (Bernstein), and numerous solo recordings of a wide range of music. Altogether, these are a terrific legacy of one of the 20th century's greatest pianists, at modest price.
R.E.B. (January 2017)