RACHMANI NOFF: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18.
Sergei Rachmaninoff, piano. Philadelphia Orchestra / Leopold Stokowski, cond.
PIRISTINE AUDIO PASC 521 TT: 66:39
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BACH: Fantasia in C minor BWV 906. BEETHOVEN: Piano Sonata No. 31 in A flat, Op. 110. CHOPIN: Impromptu in A flat, Op. 29. Etude, Op. 10 No. 12 "Revolutionary". Etude, Op. 25 No. 2. Etude, Op. 25 No. 9 "Butterfly." Bolero, Op.19. SCHUMANN: Carnaval, Op. 9.
Jascha Spivakovsky, piano
PRISTINE AUDIO PASC PAKM 073 TT: 71:30
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WALTER GIESEKING - HIS FIRST CONCERTO RECORDINGS
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 9 in E flat K. 271 (Berlin SO Orch/Hans Rosbaud, 9/29/1936). Piano Sonata in B flat K. 570. (Berlin 9/30/1936). BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C, Op. 15 (Berlin SO Orch /Rosbaud, 4/28/1927). Piano Concerto No. 4 in G, Op. 58 (Saxon State Orch / Karl Böhm (Berlin, 1/3/1939). Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat, OP. 73 "Emperor" (Vienna PO / Bruno
Walter, 9/10-11, 1934) . BACH: Excerpts from Partita No. 1 in B flat (Vienna, 9/10/1934). . LISZT: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat (London, London PO / Wood, 10/31/1932). FRANCK: Sym[phonic Variations (London PO/Wood. 9/31/1932). GRIEG: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 (Berlin SOO/Rosbaud. 9/13/1937). Two Lyric Pieces (Berlin, 9/29/1937).
APPIAN CD APR 7308 (3 disks) TT: 74:52 / 68:52 / 63:02
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Pristine Audio again is focusing on Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 played by the composer. Somnetime ago they issued a fascinating disk of it in two performances by the artist incouding one never previously issued (REVIEW). Now we have this new CD that contains the originally issued versionfrom 1929. It also contains substitute takes published in 1942, as well as an additional alternate take of one side of the third movement pubolished iun 1940. Each of the sides in all versions has its own track so it would be possible for those interested to compare separate versions ofpf each each version should they wish to do so. A fascinating issue, and all of these recordings have been remastered perfectly by Mark Obert-Thorn. A remarkable issue for the selective collector!

Jascha Spivakovsky, Ukrainian-Australian piano virtuoso, is virtually forgotten today. We are indebted to Pristine Audio for helping to rectify this by issuing many of his live live recordings. Thus far they have issued four CDs (including this latest), music of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Debussy, Kabalevsky, Liszt, Mozart, Busoni, and Schumann. Spivakovsky was a child prodigy who amazed the musical world not only with his virtuosity but his musicianship as well. During the height of his career he was sought after by leading conductors of the time including Mengelberg and Furtwängler, and Richard Strauss selected him to play his Burlesque. Incidentally, Jascha's younger brother, Tossy, was a superb violinist, appointed by Furtwängler to be concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic. Musical genius obvilously runs in †he family! In 1930, the two Spivakovskys joined cellist Edmund Kurtz and formed a trio that gave many highly praised concerts Spivakovsky's playing was admired by keyboard giants of the time including Horowitz, Schnabel, Cortot and Rubinstein. He never recorded commercially so all that we have are live broadcasts many of which have been restored from original sources by Andrew Rose and heard on these remarkable CDs. Exquisite playing throughout, and it is easy to understand the high esteem in which he was held by audiences and fellow artists. Those interested in the piano surely should investigate all of these important disks.

The third release is of equal importance. Appian Records has assembled the earliest concerto recordings of Walter Gieseking. The album was produced by Bryan Crimp, who has made excellent transfers from the original sources. Krimp points out in his CD notes that Gieseking championed "modern" composers such as Hindemith, Toch, Szymanowski, Busoni and Pfitzner. It was later that he was recognized for his playing of French impressionistic music which he recorded profusely. This is an important set for admirers of Gieseking. We'd like to point out there are blazing live recordings of Rachmaninoff's Concerto No, 2 (Concertgebouw/Mengelberg) and Concerto No. 3 (New York Philharmonic / Barbirolli). Also keep in mind that Appian has two valuable earlier Gieseking sets: APR 6013 (including earliest Homocord disks) and APR 740 (postwar recordings of Brahms, Schumann and Schubert).

R.E.B. (February 2018)