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Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade, Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 - Krebbers, Argerich, Kondrashin

Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade, Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 - Krebbers, Argerich, Kondrashin

Tower Universal Vintage  PROC-1978

Stereo Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral


Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1*

Herman Krebbers (violin)
Martha Argerich (piano)
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks*
Kirill Kondrashin (conductor)

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Comment by Paul Hannah - December 5, 2016 (1 of 3)

Have not heard this new SACD version I have several copies of Scheherazade on both CD and SACD.....and offcourse at this early stage this version on CD only..............any prospective buyer should eagerly await thisversions re-release on SACD for it is the absolute best with out question !

Comment by Don_Angelo - June 14, 2018 (2 of 3)

I finally got my hands on a copy of this disc at a decent price, this was my first introduction to the work on its redbook incarnation. At the time the coupling was with Borrodin's 2nd symphony (which is a live recording).

This Scheherazade is a strong reference in the discography, often considered to be superior to another legendary performance by Reiner and CSO. If one must compare the two, Kondrashin’s conducting is very much more refrained, putting less emphasis on the epic and demonstrative aspects of the work. While at the opposite, Reiner’s conducting is sometime called lifeless and highly technical. A critic I personally find absurd, since said conducting offers a flawless craft with 1st class performers. While most listeners will be perfectly content with the captivating performance by Reiner, one wanting to enjoy a less immediate yet more refined performance should strongly consider Kondrashin’s. The added value primarily comes from the soloists and the distinct colour of the Concertgebouw Orchestra.

The Tchaikovsky’s Piano concerto from this SACD release always puzzled me. I cannot write anything positive about It because I fail to understand Argerich intent in this. This is the only performance of the work I can think of which I cannot listen to without constantly having to focus my attention onto it. Right from the first movement I am desperately trying to hear the “very majestic” tone the score dictates, and given how easy it is to make it excessive I cannot help but wonder. What Argerich tries to do with it is a complete mystery to me. My personal reference for that work would be either Richter and Mravinsky or Reiner and Gilels collaboration.

The recording quality is definitely superb although the strings might occasionally sound a bit lavished. I still have to get my redbook copy for a comparison and say to what extent this release is an improvement. The back cover reads “Tower Vintage SA-CD collection vol. 1” which give high hopes for other gems from this label.

Comment by Adrian Quanjer - June 18, 2018 (3 of 3)

I too have the originals on different RBCD’s. I love Kondrashin’s Scheherazade released by Philips in 1979 (400-021-2) with the same cover as pictured here (strangely enough not mentioning the piano concerto!) and I don’t really see any need to buy the remastered version in a maybe slightly bettered format, but all the same in stereo. My RBCD will do.

Tchaikovsky is a totally different cup of tea. It was a live 1980 recording (Philips, not Decca, 411 057-2) and the soloist – young - Argerich, is in the outer movements all about fireworks and acrobatics. The musicians have difficulty following the pace in the final movement. (Every time Kondrashin tries to put on the brakes Argerich doesn’t follow suit, ‘live’ obliging?) Most people love it, and audiences got wild!

There are many real (and surround) hi-res versions around which, I think, are more satisfactory on repeated listening (for musicality try: Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 / Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 2 - Gerstein / Gaffigan, one of John Broggio’s favourites, or Tchaikovsky: Violin, Piano Concertos - Tetzlaff, Lugansky, Nagano , mine).