Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Benno Moiseiwitsch - Great Pianists, vol. 4

Volume Four of Naxos’ complete survey of Benno Moiseiwitsch’s shellac recordings brings us his Rachmaninov First and Second Concertos plus the Paganini Rhapsody (he never recorded the Third and Fourth concertos). Ward Marston’s transfers benefit from clean source material, seamless side joins, and a sensible non-interventionist philosophy. The relaxed élan Moiseiwitsch brings to his pre-war Paganini Rhapsody (along with more technical poise than his 1955 EMI remake) is quite different from the composer’s more aloof, statuesque brand of virtuosity–and equally convincing. If I ultimately prefer the latter it’s because Stokowski’s Philadelphia Orchestra is balanced in truer proportion, notwithstanding the faded sonics. While Marston’s program note acknowledges the close-up, dry sound of the Moiseiwitsch/Goehr Rach Two, the sound takes nothing away from the pianist’s aristocratic phrasing and warm, singing tone. He truly shines in the slow movement, shaping the apreggiated figures with plenty of warmth and flexibility and (thankfully) no schmaltz. Again, Moiseiwitsch surpasses his later EMI version.
The First Concerto boasts noticeably better sound than its discmates. Moiseiwitsch rises to the music’s lyrical surges in the first two movements but doesn’t match the composer’s inexorable, even demonic rhythmic drive and scintillating fingerwork in both the finale and the difficult first-movement cadenza. Overall, I feel Moiseiwitsch’s concerted Rachmaninov recordings don’t bear that special mark of distinction exhibited by his best solo efforts on this composer’s behalf ; neither do they match Rachmaninov’s individualistic keyboard authority. Still, there are plenty of felicities for Moiseiwitsch fans to savor, the transfers are top notch, and the price unbeatable.
Jeff Distler

Source :

Benno Moiseiwitsch
Great Pianists, vol. 4


Serguei Rachmaninov

Piano Concerto n° 1 in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 1
1 I. Vivace  11:24
2 II. Andante  4:46
3 III. Allegro vivace  7:25

Piano Concerto n° 2 in C Minor, Op. 18
4 I. Moderato  10:10
5 II. Adagio sostenuto  10:47
6 III. Allegro scherzando  11:24

Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43
7 Introduction. Allegro vivace  0:10
8 Var. I. Precedente  0:21
9 Tema. L'istesso tempo  0:20
10 Var. II. L'istesso tempo  0:18
11 Var. III. L'istesso tempo  0:24
12 Var. IV. Più vivo  0:28
13 Var. V. Tempo precedente  0:28
14 Var. VI. L'istesso tempo  0:51
15 Var. VII. Meno mosso, a tempo moderato  1:00
16 Var. VIII. Tempo I  0:33
17 Var. IX. L'istesso tempo  0:30
18 Var. X. Poco marcato  0:49
19 Var. XI. Moderato  1:11
20 Var. XII. Tempo di minuetto  1:20
21 Var. XIII. Allegro  0:29
22 Var. XIV. L'istesso tempo  0:42
23 Var. XV. Più vivo scherzando  1:01
24 Var. XVI. Allegretto  1:28
25 Var. XVII. Allegretto  1:33
26 Var. XVIII. Andante cantabile  2:35
27 Var. XIX. L'istesso tempo  0:33
28 Var. XX. Un poco più vivo  0:35
29 Var. XXI. Un poco più vivo  0:24
30 Var. XXII. Un poco più vivo (Alla breve)  1:41
31 Var. XXIII. L'istesso tempo  0:49
32 Var. XXIV. A tempo un poco meno mosso  1:11


Benno Moiseiwitsch - p
Philharmonia Orchestra/Malcolm Sargent - dir. [# 1-3]
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Walter Goehr - dir. [# 4-6]
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Basil Cameron - dir. [# 7-32]

Recorded at Studio 1, Abbey Road, London ; December 23, 1948 [# 1-3] ; November 24 & December 13, 1937 (side 1) ; & December 5, 1938 [# 7-32]


Melanchthon said...

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

Thank you very much, Mel!!
Great collection.

musician3 said...

GREAT...................THANK YOU FOR ALL

Anonymous said...

Never enough Benno, thank you MM!