Sergei Rachmaninoff;  Stokowski;  Ormandy  (Dutton CDVS 1918)
Item# P0859
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Product Description

Sergei Rachmaninoff;  Stokowski;  Ormandy  (Dutton CDVS 1918)
P0859. SERGEI RACHMANINOFF, w.Ormandy Cond. Philadelphia Orch.: Concerto #1 in f-sharp, recorded 1939-40; Concerto #4 in g, recorded 20 Dec., 1941; w.Stokowski Cond. Philadelphia Orch.: Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, recorded 24 Dec., 1934 (all Played by the Composer). (England) Dutton CDVS 1918. Transfers by Michael J. Dutton. Long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 765387191825


“I think the Rachmaninov 2nd Piano Concerto is one of the finest pieces of classical music ever. The first [transcription] was remastered by Ward Marston and at that time was the best. The next two were by Mark Obert-Thorn. The RCA and Naxos were quickly ruled out because the surface noise became white-noise that made listening impossible. The Biddulph was an improvement. There was some surface noise but it soon became unnoticeable and I was able to enjoy this music as only the composer could render its amazing Romantic flow and the deep sonority of the Philadelphia Orchestra with details from some of the finest soloists in the world.

The above quire leads me to the Dutton release remastered by Michael Dutton. It is amazing how different these separate issues are in sound. Not only is the matter of surface noise an issue it is also reflected in decisions that affect changes in balances, inner detail, depth of perspective. As for surface noise there's nothing to talk about because there ain't any on the Dutton CD. Even the sound of the piano is different; almost bell-like in the Dutton which provides the most engaging sound of all. Put succinctly, there is no better recording of this music, period. I found myself feeling like I was listening to the music for the first time.

The composer's performance is imbued with Romanticism and a Russian flavor no one really can surpass. While Ormandy is no Stokowski it is still Stokowski's orchestra.”

- Robert Stumpf II, Classical.Net

“Here you will hear ardor, fire, passion, and ecstacy. It abounds in rubato and nuances. No phrase is simply played straight. Everything is punctuated. It holds back; it springs forward. This is real musical phrasing. It is quite unlike the straight-ahead, uninflected approach we are used to. It reminds us that the romantic era is far in the past. We don’t do this kind of thing any more. I doubt whether we can. It is utterly unnatural to us. But you have to hear it to understand what this music meant to its composer.

We live in a strange time. Musicians go out of their way to make baroque and classical music sound the way they think it must have sounded to its composers. But there is no respect for romanticism and the way that sounded to the composers. To hear that you must listen to the romantics themselves - and, like Rachmaninoff, a few lived long enough to make recordings. He was a giant of a pianist and one of the last great romantic composers. I urge you to hear how he played his own music.”

- Donald R. Vroon, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, March / April, 2012