Cliburn: Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 ("live") - Longanesi Periodici GLC 04
Jacket VG / LP NM
Discoloration; no splits, else fine.
This fascinating gatefold LP from Longanesi Periodici (GLC 4, Italian pressing, mono) features Volume 4 in the label's superb 'J grandi concerti' series, this particular volume preserving a stunning performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor Op. 23 with Van Cliburn the magisterial soloist, seconded by no less than Istvan Kertesz and the Berlin Philharmnic Orchestra, from a broadcast August 28, 1961.
Aside from the famed RCA studio recording with Kondrashin and the Symphony of the Air, the Texan’s high-octane way with this warhorse is also preserved in a broadcast with Stokowski. The present issue boasts the finest orchestra, and arguably the finest sound, as the piano is much more convincingly placed in the soundstage, without any loss of immediacy or impact. Taped only two years after his triumph at the 1958 Tchaikovsky Competition, this Berlin performance captures Van Cliburn at the peak of his considerable powers, the orchestra seemingly galvanized by the out-size playing of their soloist. During the LP era, this series comprised no less than 70 issues, and numbering the greatest artists of the day (Casadesus, Stokowski, Gulda, Oistrakh, Ansermet, Richter, Furtwängler, et. Al.) in remarkable, often exceedingly rare‘live’ performances, quite handsomely packaged, with production values worthy of any of the major labels.
The set also includes a fine in-bound booklet with a superb color photo of Cliburn ‘in-concert’, as well as extensive notes (all in Italian), a portrait of the composer, and a second color photo of Tchaikovsky’s home (now a museum).