Janis (b. 1928, McKeesport,
Pennsylvania) studied with Horowitz
for three years such was his gift and
celebrity. The present two recordings
are the evidence of an outstanding talent
caught before the depredations of psoriatic
arthritis took their toll. Both are
strong contenders for your affection
and respect; the Third more than the
Janis has a resounding
muscular tone as well as a satin delicacy
- here recorded close-up. He is superbly
partnered by the London Symphony Orchestra
and Dorati in No. 3. There are many
poetic touches from the orchestra; not
least from the violins. Dorati coaxes
a crashingly precise report from the
LSO at the start of the finale. Nothing
is allowed to pass as commonplace whether
limelight melody or chugging ostinato.
To sample the best try from 10:40 in
the finale of No. 3 to the end. As for
Janis he rips into the part with shockingly
impressive technique which proclaims
strength even in the quieter moments.
Now ponder the fashion and inclination
that precluded Janis taking up the Medtner
Janisís Second begins
almost impassively - certainly modestly.
The weight of the Minneapolis strings
instantly captivates as it also does
in the precise stereo by-play of the
finale. Janis tends to be less than
probing in the middle movement and he
is not helped by a vibrato-laden flute.
Microphone placement is surely ideal
for it picks up detail in macro focus.
Place Janis in the
company of Argerich and Wild in the
case of No. 3 and Richter in No. 2.
This disc presents
for the first time the original tapes
in their three channel (left, right
centre format), a new DSD stereo and
the original CD transfer. I heard the
only in conventional CD format. These
are drawn from analogue tapes and the
intrinsic sound is underpinned with
a softened hiss.
Good and full notes.
Two classic readings
well worth your consideration.