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COMPOSERS: Beethoven/Rachmaninov
LABELS: RCA Victor Living Stereo
WORKS: Piano Concerto No. 5 (Emperor); Piano Concerto No. 2
PERFORMER: Van Cliburn (piano)Chicago SO/Fritz Reiner
CATALOGUE NO: 09026 61961 2 ADD (1961/62)
Recorded a couple of years after Van Cliburn won the Moscow Tchaikovsky Competition, these concerto performances show the brilliant young American pianist to be more temperamentally suited to the Romantic repertoire than to the intellectual challenges of Beethoven. At the same time, some may feel that his Rachmaninov is too measured in comparison with the composer’s own recording. But the performance, remastered in astonishingly vivid sound, offers many moments of poetic insight, and the orchestral contribution is predictably incisive. Erik Levi