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  »  New  Rachmaninoff, PC 3; Kondrashin/Van Cliburn..  (VERY) Belated Lhevinne response...  Musical Discussions  Forum     4  17428  06-15-2008
03-29-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
skushino
Seattle, WA
Posts 92
Joined on 07-07-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 2262
Reply to: 2262
An evening to remember - Russian National Orchestra performs Rachmaninoff & Tchaikovsky

I just returned home from an evening of Russian music in Seattle - Pletnev and RNO performing Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky.  The program began with Rachmaninoff Vocalise, then Piano Concerto #3 (Alexander Mogilevsky on piano) and Tchaikovsky Suite 3 Op 55.   It was an evening to remember, with several noteworthy events.  The first thing I observed compared to an ordinary night at Seattle Symphony was the very large number of Russians in the crowd.  How can you tell?  The Russian men wear black leather jackets, like a uniform.  Seattle is known for its large Scandinavian population.  Who knew there were so many Russians in Seattle?  Well they turned out in large numbers in a strong display of cultural unity.  The Russian Orchestra also brought to the performance a seriousness and attitude at a very high level, compared to the local symphony.  The seriousness was clear to see in their facial expressions, and the attitude was easy to hear in their musicianship.  I've never heard Benaroya Hall pressurized with sound like this evening.  The power behind the music was magneficent and physical.  This is the first live performance of Vocalise for me.  It is so achingly beautiful and emotional.  (Does anyone recommend a noteworthy recording of this?)  Mogilevsky is a talented Russian pianist - Argerich included him with a small number of promising young pianists she promoted.  The Rach Piano Concerto is one of my favorites.  Argerich stands out, as does Horowitz and Barbirolli in 1940 (this one is spectacular - very fast and full of energy).  Mogilevsky brings a fresh perspective, full of power.  I wasn't so familiar with this particular Tchaikovsky.  Again, full of energy, the horns at the finale filling the hall.  At the end, nobody left the hall. Everyone stood and applauded.  Usually, people rush for the doors.  This was the longest ovation I recall at Benaroya Hall.  On the other hand, the Seattle audience is easily impressed compared to the East Coast...  After 4 curtain calls, Pletnev ended the evening with an encore performance of more Tchaikovsky.  Wow!

It's been a pretty good year for classical music in Seattle.  The other noteworthy performance for me this year had to be Itzak Perhman conducting Mozart.   

03-29-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,249
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 2
Post ID: 2264
Reply to: 2262
Rach 3 and Vocalise on tape...

I never was a big fun of Pletnev. Even his Rachmaninoff’s Third Concerto (he plays piano), which many promoted as an “ultimate Rach 3” I found was unspeakably bad. Still, the “live” is live at it defiantly ads a lot of kink.

In regards of the recordings….

I would not consider Argerich worthwhile performer of the Rach 3, nether the Horowitz in 1940. I think Horowitz did much better in 1951, but it was still his bizarre and twisted Rach 3. Among many good Rachmaninoff’s Third Concertos I would suggest you to find (juts for sake of education) the performance of Geiseking with NY Philharmonic lead by Barbirolli in 1943. This is from a certain prospective a painful performance but “painfully beautiful”. I promise you that you never expect what Geiseking did in there… If you never heard it then you my change you mind how the Rach 3 “might” be interpreted (if you can't find I can put one on my file server).

With Vocalise is more complicated, as there are many different things people looking for in Vocalise. I would name 3 radically different perfumeries but each of them outstanding in own way:

Golovanov with USSR Radio Orchestra in 1949 with Koslovsky tenor is singing (originally for written for Nezhdanova-soprano). Koussevitzky with Boston Symphony in 30s or 40s, I would start from 1945. Koussevitzky recorded it a few time, all orchestral, and all of them are very interesting. Stokowski in 1964 with Anna Moffo and American Symphony…

Rgs,
The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
03-29-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
skushino
Seattle, WA
Posts 92
Joined on 07-07-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 2265
Reply to: 2264
These Vocalise?
The Koussevitsky Edition, Vol. IX



Ivan Kozlovsky Russian Vocal School

Thanks Romy.
03-29-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,249
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 2266
Reply to: 2265
“Russian orchestra has high points and low“

Scott,

I do not see which Vocalise it is. The LYS have managed to published a huge amount of Koussevitzky recordings before their ass got kicked and I think thsy have 3 versions Koussevitzky’s Vocalisess… Get any of them, it will do...
 
This  Koslovsky CD is absolutely unique and has some recoding that you would never find anywhere else (for instance Boris Godunov Pimen’s aria composed by… Rachmaninoff!). The quality of transfer is also very high…

BTW, if you look at my Musical News Service then there was a link in there from March 29 “Russian orchestra has high points and low“ It describes the performance you experienced. I do not know how accurate they are but whatever it worth….

Rgs,
Romy


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
03-30-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
clarkjohnsen
Boston, MA, US
Posts 287
Joined on 06-02-2004

Post #: 5
Post ID: 2269
Reply to: 2266
I believe this is it
http://home.flash.net/~park29/koussevitzky.htm

And in a nice big box:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005TS0B/102-0376091-0067332?n=5174

Along the way I found this appreciation of K's Rachy 3rd:

My Favorite Stereo 3rd, April 19, 2005
Reviewer: Jeffrey Lipscomb (Sacramento, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Stokowski gave the world premiere of Rachmaninov's 3rd Symphony in 1936 and, according to the notes which accompany this CD, the composer thought it was "played wonderfully." Amazingly, Stokowski never conducted it in public again. Then in 1975, at age 93(!), Stokowski taped this extraordinary performance with the National Philharmonic. The recorded sound is wonderful. While I retain a certain fondness for Ormandy's version (available only in a set of all three symphonies), this Stokowski is my favorite stereo account. To my ears, it is vastly superior to such competition as the ponderous and uninflected Previn, the unbending Boult, the uninvolving Ashkenazy, the torpid Temirkanov, the poker-faced de Waart, and the less well-played Janssons.

For me, Stokowski's joins three other recordings at the summit in this work. 1) Rachmaninov's own reading (the cheap Magic Talent CD has marginally better sound than the RCA and Pearl transfers) is magnificently-played by the Philadelphia Orchestra. Like Richard Strauss, Rachmaninov was a fairly straightforward interpreter of his own works, but there is no shortage of delicately expressive nuance here, and the climaxes simply soar. 2) There is a "live" Koussevitzky/Boston Symphony account (currently buried in a 10-disc CD set from Maestro Celebre) that burns with interpretive conviction - what a fantastic ensemble Boston was in those days! 3) Finally, the most wildly-impassioned performance of all: Golovanov with the Soviet All-Union Radio is my all-time favorite, along with the composer's own account. This was once available on a 2-disc Arlecchino CD set, coupled with Golovanov's first-ever recording of Rachmaninov's one-act opera "Aleko," plus absolutely stunning accounts of Rachmaninov's Fantasy for Orchestra "The Rock" and the cantata "Spring." This set is hard to find, but it's definitely worth the search.

This marvelous stereo account of Rachmaninov's 3rd by Stokowski is essential listening, along with the earlier mono accounts by the composer, Koussevitzky and Golovanov. And Stokowski's has by far the finest recorded sound.


But there's more: The complete Koussevitzky CD discography:

     [Rats! Lost it and cannot retrieve it. Anyone?...]

And, a listing of all BSO broadcasts, for instance:

Boston Symphony Broadcasts for the Year 1926

http://www.koussevitzky.com/Html/BSO_1926.html
03-31-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
skushino
Seattle, WA
Posts 92
Joined on 07-07-2004

Post #: 6
Post ID: 2274
Reply to: 2269
Romeo and Juliet
Yesterday I had 30 mins to kill before an appointment.  I stopped at the local Goodwill to check the record bins and discovered a 3 LP set of Koussevitsy and BSO performing Prokofiev, for 99 cents.  There is a little book inside, too. The second LP is cracked beyond repair, but the first and third look ok.  I will clean them up this weekend.  It was a nice way to end my day.
04-01-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,249
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 7
Post ID: 2275
Reply to: 2274
Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet

 skushino wrote:
Yesterday I had 30 mins to kill before an appointment.  I stopped at the local Goodwill to check the record bins and discovered a 3 LP set of Koussevitsy and BSO performing Prokofiev, for 99 cents.  There is a little book inside, too. The second LP is cracked beyond repair, but the first and third look ok.  I will clean them up this weekend.  It was a nice way to end my day.
I do not like the Koussevitsy’s Prokofiev and I would go, in case of the Romeo & Juliet, for more recent performances. You might try the Lorin Maazel with Cleveland.. Romeo & Juliet is kind of freakishly audiophonic peaces and I always demand a very high recording quality of this composition… Or even better, get yourself a SU-1x tuner, call to your local FM station, request the peace (for instance my beloved maestro Myung-Whun Chung with Concertegebouw playing the Romeo & Juliet), record it and you will have un ultimate performing and recording quality….

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
04-03-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
skushino
Seattle, WA
Posts 92
Joined on 07-07-2004

Post #: 8
Post ID: 2279
Reply to: 2275
Re: Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet
Thanks for the suggestion Romy.  I've really enjoyed some of your past performance recommendations.  Although I'll make do with my simple but adequate TU-9900 instead of the big TU-X1.  Or just go the old fashioned way, and buy the CD.
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