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  Living Stereo
  Tchaikovsky & Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos - Van Cliburn
  Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor Op. 23, Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor Op. 18

Van Cliburn (piano)

RCA Symphony Orchestra
Kiril Kondrashin (conductor)

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Fritz Reiner (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:
Recorded May 30, 1958, Carnegie Hall, New York City
Producer: John Pfeiffer
Recording Engineer: John Crawford

Recorded March 31 and April 2, 1962, Orchestra Hall, Chicago
Producer: Richard Mohr
Recording Engineer: Mark Donahue

DSD Engineer: Philipp Nedel
Remastering Supervisor: John Newton
Reissue Producer: Daniel Guss
Series Coordinator: Tim Schumacher

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Related titles: 11 show all

Reviews: 5 show all

Review by sacdman December 5, 2006 (14 of 14 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
What a stunner of a disc! My favorite SACD, out of the several hundred I now own.

The performances are simply to die for. I have scores of alternative versions (Argerich, Ashkenzy,
Horowitz, ..., Volodos), and no one holds a candle to Cliburn in the Tchaikovsky.

Yet, the real surprise is the Rach. 2. Here, Reiner's synergy with Cliburn raises the performance
up several notches, resulting in an absolutely thrilling performance.

Even the normally sedate Penguin Guide refered to the Rach. 2 recording as if it was "recorded yesterday",
and I have to agree.

Forget the wimpy Telarcs or the bright Membranes or the acerbic Naxos SACDs. What you have here
is a 50 year old pair of recordings that sound like they were recorded yesterday, with performances
that will be just as timeless a 100 years from now.

Five stars in sonics as well as performance. If the recordings sound bad, something's wrong with your
system! Played through a full dCS stack with BAT VK 51Se and a Krell 600c and Harbeth Monitor 40s,
this SACD sounds stunning, with amazing dynamics and spectacular piano sound.

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Review by JW March 30, 2007 (12 of 13 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
WOW ! That's all I can say. That, and the fact that this is a masterful performance. The sound is big, expansive and free flowing. No constricted dynamics. A Steinway that sounds like a Steinway played in a big hall. There is a little metallic-ness on the overtones of the high notes, but there are people who maintain that that is exactly what it sounds like when played live. This is indeed one of the best Living Stereo discs I have (17). The recording was done in May 1958. LOL. Lately I am on a bit of a quest to explore recorded piano and these audiophile travels are frought with ups and downs. This is a difficult instrument to capture and many a recording engineer stumbles hard when confronted with a piano (that's being kind - falls off a cliff is more like it at times ;-). Not these - John Crawford and Lewis Layton. I doff my hat to you, good sirs!

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Review by sgb October 9, 2004 (5 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This has always been one of my two or three favorite performances of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto. I have owned a copy of the original Shaded Dog vinyl pressing for more than 25 years, but never felt motivated to buy any of the CD reissues. Van Cliburn does such a great job as featured soloist that I would find it difficult to recommend something else. The Rachmaninov isn't quite so stellar, but quite good nevertheless.

The sound of the original vinyl record never received many accolades from audiophiles who loved the sound of the old Shaded Dogs, but it is certainly acceptable by 1958 standards. The sound on the SACD is merely average. Of the four Living Stereo SACDs I purchased initially, I found it to be better than the Saint-Saëns, but not as good as the Ravel.

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Works: 2  

Sergei Rachmaninov - Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18
Peter Tchaikovsky - Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, TH 55 Op. 23