(2-CD set for the price of one CD) This is an historic recording of two of Bach's most beautiful cantatas, performed by some of the most celebrated names in baroque music, including tenor Nigel Rogers. Features a newly written essay by Jeffrey Dooley, and brand new text translations to English by linguist Z. Phillip Ambrose.
Oeuvres de Saint-Saëns, Rachmaninov, Poulenc, Chaminade, Brahms, Liszt, Katchaturian, Medtner, Prokofiev, Liadov, Glinka, Chostakovitch, Scriabine, Tchaikovski, Rebikov, M. Gould, Chopin / Shura Cherkassky, piano
Few, if any, historic releases are as charming as Ivory Classics' Shura Cherkassky--The Historic 1940s Recordings. For Cherkassky--as for his teacher, Josef Hofmann--music was a vehicle for self-expression. Stories about Cherkassky's personal eccentricities are the stuff of legend, but he was not so much an eccentric pianist as an individualistic one. Unlike individualists of our own day, who seem to play "differently" simply to provoke and who merely sound quirky, the miracle about Cherkassky is that he usually sounded natural. You'll surely never hear a Brahms F Minor Sonata more original than the one reissued here. In the finale, the pianist discovers inner voices whose existence would have astonished Brahms himself. But despite the pianist's interest in luscious tone, polyphonic texture, and details within individual phrases, he never loses grasp of the overall shape of the work. Much of the rest of what's contained in these two discs is simply magical. In short, familiar pieces by Chopin and Liszt and, particularly, in lesser-known works by Medtner, Rebikov, Chaminade, and Scriabin, Cherkassky's pianism evokes the elegance and melancholy of a vanished era. --Stephen Wigler