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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
84
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on October 10, 2006
This is the greatest compilation of recordings ever made by the legendary pianist Van Cliburn. Although I am a cellist, I wear this cd out on a regular basis both at the office and home. I actually have an extra copy to play at the office. All of these recordings are superb in sound quality, performance and incredibly inspiring. The Schumann, Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Liszt pieces are stellar and my personal favorites. I only wish there were dvd's with Cliburn's performances for those of us too young to have seen him perform live. CD is a must-have for any classical music lover's collection.
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on April 25, 2004
I first saw Van Cliburn perform the third movement of Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto on television when I was a teenager--at the end of the piece, there was about 1/2 second delay before the audience was CHEERING!!! I recently bought this CD because it has some music that I really don't like (such as Mozart's "Rondo alla Turca", Lizt's "Liebestraum," Debussy's "Reverie," for example.) I have heard most of these compositions played by other performers (as I myself have played them all, over and over at the insistance of my teachers)--hence, the reason I didn't like them. But, that is what separates a genius like Cliburn from hackers (myself at the proverbial bottom.) His "Rondo alla turca" is so expressive that at the closing (including the sixteenth note parallel octaves) to the beautiful chords--well, Cliburn makes the piano sound like a combination of a piano, harp, and orchestral chimes!!! His performance of "Liebestraum" brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it: Debussy's "Reverie" is so romantic that an attempt to describe it would be an injustice. While there may be myriads of other pianists who can play the notes to these pieces, it is the immeasurable qualities of a genius like Cliburn to bring ANY composition he plays to life!!
THIS IS A _MUST HAVE_ CD!!! GET IT!!! YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED!
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on March 20, 2000
I've purchase this recording three times before because I keep wearing them out! The first time I bought it on 8Track tape. I had to sit in our Volkswagen to play it, and my father was worried I'd wear down the car battery, but I couldn't help but listen over and over and over. It's truly a beautiful collection, that I'd recommend to everyone!
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on December 1, 2004
usually i don't listen to classical music that much.. i'm 14! but i really enjoy piano so when i saw this music i started to listen to it and i cant beleive how fantastic it is! It is a must have for piano lovers, because the mood of the music varies so much that there is something to suit every mood! My personal favourite is track 2 i can't stop listening to it! I really recommend this cd it is so good.
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on April 3, 2007
I bought this CD as a "treat" for my 16 year old son, who has just finished a homeschool music course for one of his electives. The last part of the course required listening to music from all the great composers, Baroque through contemporary periods, and identifying the more famous pieces by name and composer. He not only enjoyed the course, he now actually listens to this CD for his own enjoyment (when he's not playing 80's rock). What more could a mother ask for? (I'll tell you. I ask him to borrow it, it's lovely.)
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on April 30, 2004
My parents bought me this as a kid. It was the first classical music I ever owned. I listed to these awesome piano tunes and was blown away. So I became hooked on classical at a time I was into metal! But it's not reaally as crazy as may sound, as every open-minded and perceptive music listener knows that metal music is the bastard child of classical. Just look at old Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, etc. Anyway, back to this Van Cliburn number. This collection of songs contains some of the most accessible and entertaining piano solos in existence, including works by all those composers you'd expect to see: Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, Mozart, Debussy, Brahms, Chopin, Schubert, Schumann, and Tchaikovsky. A must-have for piano lovers.
David Rehak
author of "Love and Madness"
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on November 25, 2010
On the whole this is a nice collection of piano music just not a very balanced mix. For me, Cliburn's tempos on this CD tend to be a little too much on the slow side especially for pieces such as the Turkish March. Most of the selections on this CD are meant to be played at slower tempos but it seems that they all get the broad tempo treatment. Listening to this CD all the way through started out nicely but became a little tedious toward the end. I may be a Philistine but I prefer the selection and tempos of Phillip Entremont's collection of popular works on the SONY CD 'World's Best-Loved Piano Pieces'. This doesn't mean that I don't like Cliburn. I cherish his recordings of the piano concertos of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Beethoven and Schumann. If you like your piano music well articulated but more drawn out in tempo join the other 5 star raves and buy this CD.
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on April 13, 2006
If you like Piano music, this is the CD for you. Van Cliburn is at home with great songs that anyone will recognize. It is a masterfully performed set of songs for anyone.
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on July 28, 2007
Van Cliburn is a master pianist, and this CD is pure listening enjoyment. I generally am not into clasical music, but this is fun. His working fingers convince me that they are not working. They are dancing, and they are having great fun. WONDERFUL!!
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on December 15, 2014
This is a really wonderful assortment of piano classics by a variety of composers, performed by one of the greatest pianists to perform during my lifetime. Cliburn rose meteorically to fame in 1958 and kept performing until just a couple of years ago. Seldom have I heard a pianist who could play as beautifully as Van Cliburn and this album is a great "sampler" of what he could do with a concert grand piano. Well worth having in your collection, if you ask me, if you like classical piano solos.
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