VAN CLIBURN - An American Wins in Russia
Legendary Van Cliburn (1934 2013) in 1958 was the first American to win the International Tchaikovsky Competition. The tall, lanky pianist was treated like a hero and his recording of Tchaikovsky's Concerto No. 1 still is the best-selling classical recording. He recorded profusely during his career, and this new 10-dick budget set offers a selection of live and commercial recordings, all of which have previously been issued. Many are from the Tchaikovsky Competition. We have two versions of the Tchaikovsky Concerto (Kondrashin / Moscow Philharmonic, and Kondashin / Symphony of the Air). There also are two recordings of Concerto No. 2 of Brahms, one from Moscow, the other with Reiner and the Chicago Symphony. Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 3 is live from Moscow, Concerto No. 2 is with Reiner and the Chicago Symphony. Also with the Chicago Symphony we have concertos of Beethoven and Schumann conducted by Reiner, and concertos of Prokofiev and MacDowell conducted by Walter Hendl. It is surprising these are included, as one would think the masters are owned by RCA/Sony. This is a very basic set, with each disk in its own plain paper jacket. An 8-page pamphlet lists details of each recording and there are no program notes. If you really are interested in this remarkable artist you should look into the video of his live performances in Moscow, solo piano works (REVIEW), and Rachmaninoff Concertos 2 and 3 (REVIEW).
R.E.B. (May 2019)