This is the fourth salvo in the Moiseiwitsch series.
Sargent and the Philharmonia show cracking form in
the First Concerto - a pathfinder for Kondrashin's brimming and nervy
athletic spirit in the Symphonic Dances. Their attack is matched by
Moiseiwitsch's gripping and dynamic approach which clears five-bar gates
at a single galloping leap. As the second movement shows he can also
handle the poetry. Listen, in the allegro vivace, to Sargent
and Moisewitsch laying into the crystal glass. This is a smashing performance
- as special as the Sammons' Elgar Concerto (also on a recent Naxos).
The recording is captured in the twilight of the 78 era.
Volume 3 in the Naxos Moiseiwitsch Edition gave rather
ho-hum performances of the first two Tchaikovsky Piano Concertos. These
were not at all impressive - far too sober when they, or at least the
First, need to be as wild as a mustang and as soulful as Chaliapin.
In the Rachmaninov Second there is sweetness but everything is very
low key and deliberate. Where is the glint in the eye? Perhaps the chemistry
between soloist and conductor omitted volatility. If you are looking
for a plain Jane interpretation without what you may regard as hysteria
then this is the version for you. The recorded sound is very well rendered:
listen to the grunt of the piano's basso tones captured with such fidelity
at the start of the concerto.
Things go much better in the Rhapsody with Basil Cameron
(original Basil von Hindenburg - a name he understandably dropped during
his sojourn with the Torquay Municipal Orchestra at the time of the
Great War) freshly returned from his spell as conductor of the San Francisco
Symphony. Some of the magnetic force we perceive in the First Concerto
with Sargent is there with Cameron. Everyone is on their toes and Moisewitsch's
way with the Andante cantabile is gorgeous even if we miss the
voluptuous 'pile' of the Philadelphian strings (to be heard in their
recording with the composer and Stokowski four years before the Cameron
session - Naxos 8.110602).
The documentation (English only) and discographic detail
is princely and the separate tracking of each of the variations is another
indicative mark of the high production values of the project. Nice transfers
by Ward Marston and due tribute paid to Raymond Edwards and Donald Manildi
who, presumably, provided the 78s from which these digital transfers
A disc made utterly recommendable by the Moiseiwitsch/Sargent
recording of the First Concerto. Any chance of hearing Moiseiwitsch
(with the right conductor!) in the last two Rachmaninov piano concertos?
On song he should be a world-beater up there with Michelangeli in the