Notes & Reviews:
"In 1976, when the cold war was cold indeed," wrote the New York Times, "Lazar Berman appeared virtually unannounced from behind the Iron Curtain and provided the West with an exotic glimpse of a secretive Soviet musical life. On his first United States tour, Mr. Berman made an overwhelming impression as a performer who did more than just overcome technical problems; he seemed to crush them into insignificance." Berman's recordings, though relatively few in number, confirmed that impression. Sony Classical's new 6-CD box of performances issued by CBS between 1976 and 1983, is full of unique treasures. They include his recording of the Rachmaninoff Third Concerto with Claudio Abbado and the London Symphony Orchestra: "For a big, grand, show-stopping spectacular", wrote Gramophone, "with a host of musical merits to boot, the Berman is necessary - nay, compulsive - listening." The same could be said of the rest of this new set, including the Brahms First Piano Concerto, with Erich Leinsdorf conducting the Chicago Symphony, and solo works by Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms and Scriabin.
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Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958): Symphonies Nos. 1-9; Violin Concerto; Tuba Concerto; 3 Portraits / London SO, André Previn
Yuri Bashmet: The Complete RCA Recordings by Various Composers / Yuri Bashmet, viola; Viktor Tretiakov, violin; Londom SO, Paavo Järvi
Schubert: String Quintet; Songs / Quatuor Ébène
Konrad Ruhland conducts Gregorian Chant / Capella Antiqua Müchen, Choralschola, Konrad Ruhland
Gershwin: An American in Paris, Concerto in F, Rhapsody in Blue, Broadway Overtures / Michael Tilson Thomas, piano; San Francisco SO, Los Angeles PO, Michael Tilson Thomas
Rachmaninoff: The Complete Music for Piano Solo / Ruth Laredo, piano
Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4; Tragic Overture; Variations on a Theme by Haydn / Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Zubin Mehta
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-8; "Coriolan" & "Egmont" Overtures / Filarmonica della Scala, Carlo Maria Giulini
Brahms: Four Serious Songs; Songs and Romances, Op. 32 / Matthias Goerne, baritone; Christoph Eschenbach, piano