KONDRASHIN Tchaikovsky & Shostakovich Concertos (1958/60) - PASC420

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KONDRASHIN Tchaikovsky & Shostakovich Concertos (1958/60) - PASC420

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TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto No. 1

SHOSTAKOVICH Cello Concerto No. 1
Studio and live recordings · 1958 & 1960

Total duration: 62:35

Kirill Kondrashin, conductor
Van Cliburn,
Mstislav Rostropovich,
RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

This set contains the following albums:

Kondrashin is the master accompanist in two classic recordings with Van Cliburn and Rostropovich

"Their Tchaikovsky ... has tremendous authority, and in this Kondrashin's accompaniments are a major asset." - Gramophone, 1999

It is always fascinating to look back and see how a legendary recording was first received, and leaving aside comments on performance for this note, one can only agree with the criticism of the recording's tone, hence my decision to imrpove this as much as is possible using XR remastering. RCA's sound on their more recent issues is certainly an improvement over the original LP but still left a lot to be desired.Meanwhile the Shostakovich - which I originally discovered on a Period Showcase LP credited to a different orchestra -  was considerably worse. Both have improved greatly here.

While the major artistic draws of this release are of course the two illustrious soloists, it was the common thread of conductor Kirill Kondrashin which first drew me to these LPs in my collection, hence the focus on him here. A great soloist needs a great accompanist conductor at his or her side if they are to work well together to produce a truly great concerto performance.

Here are indeed two great performances, with two great soloists - and one excellent conductor and master accompanist.

Andrew Rose

  • TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23
    Van Cliburn, piano
    RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra

    Recorded 30 May, 1958
    Carnegie Hall, New York City
    Issued as RCA SB-2006
    A stereo recording

  • SHOSTAKOVICH Cello Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 107
    Mstlislav Rostropovich, cello
    Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

    Recorded 29 May 1960
    Smetana Hall, Municipal House, Prague
    Issued as Period SHO ST 337
    Presented in Ambient Stereo
    (NB.Although billed as a stereo release on some issues, including the Period LP, the recording appears to be sourced from a mono Czech radio broadcast. The Period issue credits "Moscow State Orchestra" but offers no further details. We have taken the information presented here from a later Supraphon release.)

Kirill Kondrashin
 - conductor

Classical CD Review review

A major reissue

Pristine has now turned their attention to two important recordings by Kiril Kondrashin, his collaboration with Van Cliburn in Tchaikovsky's Concerto No. 1, and Mstislav Rostropovich in Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1. The Tchaikovsky, recorded in Carnegie Hall March 30, 1958, is a landmark in the recording industry. It was the first classical recording to sell more than a million copies and eventually sold more than three million. And for good reason. The Texas-born pianist was a legend for winning the 1958 First International Tchaikovsky Competition. He insisted that Kondrashin, who had accompanied his performances in Russia, conduct the recording. The Russian live performances are available on video": Rachmaninoff concertos 2 and 3  and Beethoven Emperor, Brahms No. 2 and the Tchaikovsky. Pristine's XR remastering has provided a richer audio picture easily superior to the manifold previous issues of this major recording. Rostropovich gave the American premiere of the Shostakovich Concerto No. 1 with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. and recorded the work in November 1959, most recently reissues on Sony. Pristine offers the cellist's second recording from a concert performance May 24, 1960 with the Czech Philharmonic under Kondrashin. This has been reprocessed with effective "ambient stereo." A minute of applause is included.. A major reissue.