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BENNO MOISEIWITSCH The Complete Rachmaninov Recordings 1937-43

 

RACHMANINOV

Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor Op 18 recorded 24 November and 13 December 1937

1 Moderato (10.03); 2 Adagio sostenuto (10.38); 3 Allegro scherzando (11.17)

London Philharmonic Orchestra/Walter Goehr

4 MENDELSSOHN/RACHMANINOV Scherzo from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (4.10) 17 March 1939

RACHMANINOV

5 Prelude in C sharp minor Op 3 No 2 (3.45) 2 August 1940

6 Prelude in G minor Op 23 No 5 (3.45) 2 August 1940

7 Prelude in G major Op 32 No 2 (2.16) 19 October 1943

8 Prelude in B minor Op 32 No 10 (4.41) 3 October 1940

9 Prelude in G sharp minor Op 32 No 12 (2.05) 19 October 1943

10 Moment Musical Op 16 No 4 (2.50) 19 October 1943

11 Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini Op 43 (21.42) 5 December 1938

London Philharmonic Orchestra/Basil Cameron


 

Benno Moiseiwitsch was one of the many great Russian pianists born in Odessa. A prodigy, he finished his studies in Vienna under the great teacher Leschetitzky and commenced his international career in London in 1908. He recorded prolifically from 1916 until just before his death and was particularly highly regarded for his Chopin, Schumann and Rachmaninov. His playing was characterised by effortless technique, great colour and an always present lyricism. Moiseiwitsch met Rachmaninov as his American debut in 1919 and the two immediately became great friends. The composer (of course also a great pianist) praised Moiseiwitsch’s interpretations of his works and even claimed the recording of the Second Concerto presented here was superior to his own.

All these recordings present Moisiewitsch at the height of his powers but special mention must be made of the legendary Mendelssohn/Rachmaninov Scherzo which has long been regarded as one of the greatest of all piano recordings.


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