VASSILY SAPELLNIKOFF "The Complete Recordings"
TCHAIKOVSKY: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, OP. 23. Music of Glinka, Balakirev, Tchaikovskhy, NMendekssohnm, Schumann, Wagbner, Chopin, Debussy, Liszt, Rubinstein, Brahms, and Sapellinikoff.
XAVIER SCHARWENKA: "The Complete Recordings."
Music of Weber, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Lisxzt and Scharwenka
APR 5016 (2 disks) TT: 73:20 & 73:34

BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 3 in D minor
London Philharmonic Orch/Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, cond.
LPO LIVE 0084 TT: 56:35

WAGNER: Das Rheingold
Hans Hotter (Wotan). David Kelley (Donner). Edgar Evans (Froh). Richard Holm (Loge). Kurt Böhme (Fasolt). Michael Langdon (Fafner). Otakar Kraus (Alberich). Peter Klein (Mime). Ursulal Boese (Fricka). Una Hale (Freia). Marga Höffgen (Erda). Joan Caryltyle (WWoglihde). Josephine Veasey (Wellgunde). Marjorie Thomas (Flosshilde). Covent Garden Orch/Ferdionand Leitner, cond.
WALHALL WELCD 0334 TT: 72:43 & 78:19

WAGNER: Die Walküre
Rammon Vinay (Siegmund). Astrid Varnay (Brünnhilde). Amy Schuard (Sieglinde). Hans Hotter (Wotan). Kurt Böhme (Hunding). Ursula Boese (Fricka). Jean Watson (Schwertleite). Judith Pierce (Helmweige). Noreen Berry ( (Siegrune). Joan Caryle (Gerhilde). Una Hale (Ortlinde). Marjorie Thomas Rossweise). Covent Garden Orch/Franz Konwitchney, cond.
WALHALL WELCD 0315 (3 dicks) TT: 73:22 / 75:21 62:11

Russian pianist Vassily Sapellnikoff (1868-1941) was a major virtuoso if gus tune, He played Tchaikovsky's famous concerto many times with the composer conducting, and it has been suggested he and Tchaikovsky had a romantic relationship as well. Sapellnikoff performed often with major conductors of the time including Sir Thomas Beecham and Willem Mengelbergin/ Reportedly, Sapellnikoff made the first recording of the work, heard here. released in May 1925 with the Aeolion Orchestra conducted by Stanley Chapple. The performance is on a grand scale but hardly a virtuoso reading. George Bernard Shaw was amazed at the speed with which Sapellnikoff played the octaves in Chopin's A-flat Polonaise, a skill not evidenced in his playing the numerous octaves in the concerto. . The pianist's numerous octaves in the concerto are pedestrian at best. And it does seem odd that the Frenchg horn slip on the very first note of the concerto wasn't redone. For various reasons, this performance is fascinating, but it surely doesn't match the french more recent recordings of this exciting concerto. This fine APLR set alsop ioncloudes all of the pianists solo recordings made 1922-1927 which really do display his stylish virtuosity. We also have three brief works composed by the pianist. To fill out this twin-disk set, we have all of the recordings made by German/Polish pianist XaverXavier Scharwenka (1860 - 1824, a leading virtuoso of his time and a composer as well. His works include four piano concertos, the first of which was recorded by Earl Wild with Erich Leinsdorf and the Boston Symp;hony The seven works on this reissue are all of his recordings, seven selections recorded 1910-1913 including two works of Chopin. This is a major issue for those who love historic piano recordings. Thank you, APR!

This performance of Bruickner's Symphony No. 3 is live from London's Royal Festival Hall March 14, 2014. Stanislav Skrowacwewski is one of the most respected conductors of our time. Now in his ninth decade, he continues to amaze with his vitality on the podium, of which this is an example. The recording is excellent, close-up stereo, but one might wonder the logic to issue this. The acclaimed Polish conductor already has recording of all of the Bruckner symphonies with the Saarbrücken ken Radio Symphony—and this is available at super-budget price on Oehms, costing little more than the price of this later performance.This might attract listeners who might wish to investigate a performance by a 92-year old conductor (he has lost none of his spirit).

Here we have the first two installments in a Ring presented at Covent Garden in 1959 in conducted by German conductor Franz Konwitschney.(1901 -1952) Before becoming a conductor, he played viola in thenLeipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra latyer becoming music director of that orchestra. He was highly respected among his peer, known for his expertise in Wagner. His master of Wagnerian is evident in in these powerful performances at Covent Garden, and he has a sterling cast. We gear nany kegebdart /Wagner siungers in their prime: Hans Hotter as Wotan, Ramon Vinay's Siegmund and in particular, Astrid Varnay's thrilling Brünnhilde. This is first-class Wagner by any standards, and the recorded sound is remarkably clerar and well0balanced. These are bare-tones productions, with no CD notes but wedo have comploete tracklistings and timings and there are a few photographs. Remember, these are budget issues.

R.E.B. (July 2015)