Monday, September 24, 2007

Good Ol' Sergei

Isn't serendipity wonderful?

I borrowed a 3-CD set of Fritz Kreisler recordings from the library yesterday, mostly because it contained his 1936 recording of the Beethoven Violin Concerto [1] with the London Philharmonic conducted by John Barbirolli, and discovered that the set also included sonatas for Violin and Piano by Beethoven, Schubert and Grieg. Out of idle curiosity I decided to check who the pianist was, figuring it would be someone I'd never heard of (the recording is from 1926). It turned out to be Sergei Rachmaninoff. Immense fanboyishness ensued.

[1] A piece I'm a little obsessed by, to be honest. Kreisler's recording of it is a virtuoso performance - he pulls off the almost impossible task of making the cadenza at the end of the first movement sound fluid, before ending the movement on note of tenderness I've never heard before (most other recordings I've heard tend to end on a note of triumph), and then playing a second movement so achingly mellow it sounds almost like an Aria.


Tabula Rasa said...

what exactly happens when immense fanboyishness ensues?

Falstaff said...

TR: Just read the post above this one - that's as good an example of any of the kind of raving rapture I'm prone to every now and then.

??! said...

Oh, wow. Have to try and get that set - who's it been released by?

Tabula Rasa said...

did you *really* go "Yaay!" at rachmaninov?

Falstaff said...

??!: The set I borrowed is on a Biddulph label, but I'm not sure it's still available. Amazon does have recordings of both the Beethoven Concerto and the collaboration with Rachmaninoff available separately though.

TR: Sure, why not? That's the whole joy of listening to this stuff at home. I may have even clapped between movements!

??! said...

Falsie: Merci - it was mostly the Rachmaninoff pieces that I was interested in.

TR: When it comes to the Rach-man, 'Yay' is just about the least outburst.