At an impromptu gathering in 1940, Sergei Rachmaninoff demonstrated at the piano just how he wanted his new orchestral work, Symphonic Dances, to be performed. Rachmaninoff, one of the greatest of all pianists, reduced the orchestral score for a single piano on this occasion. That recording is presented here in two versions: first, edited to conform to the score and again, just as the occasion unfolded, as Rachmaninoff jumped from place to place as he demonstrated. Other performers include pianist Benno Moiseiwitsch, mezzo soprano Nadezhda Plevitskaya, and conductors Adrian Boult, Dmitri Mitropoulos, Eugene Ormandy, and Leopold Stokowski. These are complemented by every known non-commercial recording of Rachmaninoff, accompanied by a detailed essay concerning Rachmaninoff, the Symphonic Dances, and these recordings written especially for this issue by Richard Taruskin, author of the Oxford History of Western Music.
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Available 4 September 2018
This release features a collection of what might be called piano orphans: commercial and non-commercial recordings of great pianists that simply have never found their way onto compact disc. Among these treasures are fifteen minutes of Dinu Lipatti playing Scarlatti and Brahms that have only recently surfaced; an unpublished disc of Alfred Cortot playing the “Russian Dance” from Petroushka; and previously unpublished excerpts of the Tchaikovsky first piano concerto played by Vladimir Horowitz with the Philadelphia Orchestra, recorded during a 1932 concert conducted by Fritz Reiner and recorded as an experiment by the Bell Telephone Laboratory. This is Horowitz's earliest known concert performance and is in amazing sound for that time. It is unfortunate that the entire concerto was not recorded, but hearing these excerpts will be a revelation for Horowitz fans. Also included are live concerto performances by Lev Puishnov and Guiomar Novaes. We feel certain that piano enthusiasts worldwide will treasure this 2-CD set as nothing like it has been heard since Gregor Benko produced his acclaimed Landmarks of Recorded Pianism LP forty years ago.
Feodor Chaliapin (1873-1938) (bass) was in the opinion of many the greatest singing actor of the 20th century. Like Enrico Caruso, the name Chaliapin continued to be a household word long after his death. A case in point is that the Sobranie tobacco company continued to market their “Chaliapin”cigarettes into the 1970s. Producing a Chaliapin set has long been a desire of Marston, yet due to the size of the compilation, the production costs, and the time involved, this project has been pushed to the back burner time and time again. With the financial assistance of some of our generous supporters, we have finally released a thirteen-CD set containing every known recording of Feodor Chaliapin numbering well into the two hundreds. This set contains a substantial number of previously unpublished alternative takes, as well as all extant sides from the live performances at Covent Garden and the Royal Albert Hall that were recorded by His Master's Voice in 1926 through 1928. The booklet accompanying the set includes essays on Chaliapin and his records by Michael Scott and Michael Aspinall, and a reprint of an essay by the great accompanist, Ivor Newton.
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In recognition of our Preferred Customers, Marston created the Lagniappe Series. This series consists of single disc issues that are given to Preferred Customers free of charge. Read More.