RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18. BIZET: Muisic from Camen. LISZT: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2. B OCCHERINI: Minuet . IPPOLITOV-IVANOV: Processiuon of the Sardar. CHOPIN: Prelude in E minor. MENDELSSOHN: Scherzo from A Midsummer Night's Dream. GLUCK: Dance of the Blessed Spirits. CHABRIER: Espana. KELLEY: Alice in Won derland: The Red Queen's Banquet. WAGNER: Festmarsch. TCHAIKOVSKY: Scherzo from Symphony No. 6
Sergei Rachmaninoff, piano. Philadelphia Orch/Leopold Stopkowski, cond.
PRISTInE AUDIO PASC 471 TT: 79:41
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ABC BLUE NETWORK CONCERT VOL. 2
WAGNER: Siegfried's Funeral March . SIBELIUS: The Death of Mélisande. MOZART: Adagio Adagio from Divertimento, K. 131. SCHUBERT: Symphony No. 8 in B miunor. TCHAIKOVSKY: Elegie from Serenade for Strings. BERLIOZ: Trojan Marh
ABC Radio Orclh/Sir Thomas Beecham, cond.
PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 470 TT: 57:50
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Pristine Audio's Stokowski/Rachmaninoff CD is doubtless one of the most importance historic reissues! It makes available recordings never before issued, in miraculous XR remastering. Of prime importance is the first movement of Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 2 recorded January 2 and December 22 1924. Only the second and third movements were initially issued commercially, but now we have the first as well. Pristine's website gives complete information about matrix numbers and takes, from which we learn that most of the approved takes were the fourth. Rachmaninoff and Stokowski would make another recording in the new electric process in 1929, which is generally available.They made one more recording together, the Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, in 1934.

The other works were never before published. Because of disk time limitations, the Wagner, Liszt, Ippolitov-Ivanov and Tcihaikovsky works are truncated. All of these restorations by Andrew Rose are remarkable—they do not sound like acoustic recordings which, recorded using a large horn, are of limited frequency and dynamic range. Balances are excellent, and the richness of sound, made possible through the latest restoration techniques, provides a surprisingly rich, full orchestral sound. This is an important amazing CD that should be in everyone's collection. Thanks, Pristine! As collectors know, previous transfers of Rachmaninoff's early solo piano recordings are woefully inadequate. Perhaps Pristine could turn their expertise to them?

A most unusual event can be experienced on another Pristine CD. It was a sad day for the U.S. when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt suddenly died in office two days before this scheduled broadcast (April 14, 1945). This was one of four special concerts conducted by Sir Thomas with a hand-picked orchestra primarily of players from the NBC Symphony and the New York Philharmonic Orchestras. The concert was given in New York's Ritz Hotel before an understandably quiet audience. Broadcast commentator was Milton Cross; his announcements are included. There were a number of technical problems with the source material—ANdrew Rose explains how he solved them in CD notes. This disk is a curiosity, for Beecham collectors.

R.E.B. (May 2016)