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William Kapell Edition Vol 4: Prokofiev: Piano concerto no. 3 / Khachaturian: Piano concerto / Shostakovich: Preludes for piano Original recording remastered

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, February 8, 2000
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 8, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: RCA
  • Run Time: 66 minutes
  • ASIN: B000040JED
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #422,987 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The same program was subsequently (in 2001) reissued by Naxos, in transfers by the audio wizard who'd earn the first Nobel Prize of transfers if the category was created, Mark Obert-Thorn, so depending on price you might want to consider that publication: Prokofiev/Khachaturian. It is the one I have, and the audio restoration is great indeed.

I bought it in the context of an thorough comparative listening of Khachaturian's Concerto, and I've published a detailed review under the Naxos entry, which I will summarize here for those intererested in the composition (obviously I can't comment on the quality of RCA's transfers). With Prokofiev's 3rd, Khachaturian's Concerto was a signature piece for Kapell, and this recording with Koussevitzky established something of an interpretive standard - and is still today considered such, sixty+ years after its first publication in 1946 (it was recorded on April 16 of that year. The excellent Naxos liner notes by Jonathan Summers mention that Kapell and Koussevitzky had made an earlier recording, on January 1st of the previous year, but that for reasons unknown it was never released).

And there is indeed, even in view of all the competition that came after, much that is dazzling in this reading, but also a few disputable interpretive options. The most blatant one comes immediately at the beginning, in the way Koussevitzky and Kapell take the opening "allegro maestoso" - at circa 100-104 quarter-notes/minute, much slower that the composer's metronome mark of 108-120, thus giving precedence to the "maestoso" over the "allegro". I'm no radical in abiding by the scores, as long as the interpretive liberties "work".
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Format: Audio CD
Please do not waste your time and money searching another other performance of Kachaturian . This is by far , the supreme jewel in the musical universe since its first release in 1945 in vynil .

Kapell simply was far beyond of being inspired , he threw over the concert and literally explored every little detail , you will feel the anxiety , the nostalgia , the delirium , the caucasion moods , the unbetable rage and the most passionated lyricism ever made in this concert .

And despite Koussevitzky with The Boston Symphony makes a great team . This orchestra , gifted with such tonal color , his strings and brass ; cellos and counterbass , winds and metals were simply a real tour de force .

The rapport was inmediat and this recording became in the hitherto of the Kachaturian Piano Concerto .

Believe me I ve heard this work since 1973 and not least than three hundred times . Its frenetic intensity , its febrile majesty and vibrating erotism is absolutely overpowered .

The Prokoviev is very interesting though I find it too fast in the first movement and somehow this hyperkinetism may work out if you do not know for instance the Samson Francois version in which S.F. articulates lyricism and powerful .

But despite this last commentary about the Third , the record is fundamental for you to acquire the essential and more astonishing performance of this Concerto .
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Format: Audio CD
William Kapell on this CD played with an incomparible fire. Both piano concertos are beautifull pieces and were fully realized on this album as great works of music.
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Format: Audio CD
The bravura, power, strenth, energy, virtuosity of the pianio in Khachaturian concerto is simply unbeliveble. Surprisingly to me, there are also moments full of poetry and nostalgia in second part.
And the orchesta with the Kusewicki - this is really strong support, and - despite the age of the recording - the details are quite well audible (I know Naxos edition, they made wonders!)
Simply amazing!
One of the greatest piano concerto recording I have ever heard (not the same with the concerto). Two great artists inspired to its heights by each other!
To comparision I know only another version of the piece - with Kapell again - the one with Ormady. The orchestra is not as marvelous as Boston.
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