Sunday, July 28, 2013

Columbia SAX 2380

Columbia SAX 2380

Tchaikovsky:  Piano Concerto No. 1; Weber: Konzertstueck

Claudio Arrau, piano
Alceo Galiera, conductor
Philharmonia Orchestra
Pressing:  UK, ED1, blue/silver

Condition:  VG+


YAX 577-5
YAX 578-2
Performance:  6
Sound:  6/10

Price range:  $31-132, mean $65 on popsike

Comments:  A nice recording and not one of the more expensive SAXes.  Majestic and somewhat stern pose of Claudio Arrau on the cover.  Like many of the Columbia SAX orchestral recordings I've heard, the sound places you a little further back in the concert hall.  Interestingly, when I compare the LP to the digital remaster (which is included in EMI's Icon boxed set), the digital remaster sounds like you are a little closer to the orchestra and soloist.  I found the balance between soloist and orchestra to be pretty good; the piano does not overpower its accompaniment and vice versa.  Bass is okay but could be better, though the repertoire is not particularly bass heavy.  Nevertheless, I could appreciate the bass pizzicato in the first movement of the Tchaikovsky as well as the timpani roll in the third movement.  Interpretation didn't leave me in awe, and I'd have to say that I prefer Van Cliburn's famous recording with Kiril Kondrashin on RCA Living Stereo or Byron Janis with Herbert Menges and the LSO.  These have just a little more pizzazz, especially in the third movement.

1 comment:

  1. I am quite taken by my second pressing of Ogden doing this piece, ASD 542.