The box for this disc
proudly announces – "First release
on CD". It should really have said
"Yet another first for Australian
Eloquence." Over the past few years
this label has consistently made available
to collectors, repertoire that the European
suppliers seem determined to ignore
completely, whilst busily releasing
the same old favourites over and over
again; no wonder the recording industry
is in such a bad state. Who wants a
third or fourth release of something
at bargain price that they bought at
a higher price two or three years before.
Much better to release repertoire that
has never been on CD at any price, and
if the first release is at super-budget
price, even more reason to rejoice.
LP collectors like
myself remember many of the older releases
which have not yet reached silver disc.
I am sure we would snap them up if the
companies would only make them available.
This disc is hardly in this category,
as it is a digital recording, and so
may be not quite such a ‘golden oldie’,
but the principle holds good.
In Boris Belkin, we
have an extremely good soloist in repertoire
that suits his temperament, playing
two Prokofiev concertos often sharing
harness. The playing time is made up
with a popular ballet suite from the
same composer. The only common factor
is the London Philharmonic, enjoying
one of its peaks during the late seventies/early
eighties. The excitement in the orchestral
playing is noticeable, so different
from some of the bland, dull playing
we often have to suffer on modern releases.
Having three separate
conductors does not cause a problem.
All three are inspirational leaders
and this really shows. From these recordings
I would be hard pressed to choose between
them. There is absolutely no problem
with any of them, and with the first
two, they both seem to establish an
ideal rapport between orchestra and
I am sure that if there
had not been cutbacks in the industry,
Boris Belkin would have a much higher
profile with collectors than he has
today. Currently he would appear to
have only the Sibelius and Strauss concertos,
with a minor Tchaikovsky item available.
Australian Eloquence are also advertising
the Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich No.
1 coupled together. With these two discs
you can have more of this soloist than
is otherwise currently available.
The playing is first
class, with sweetness of tone in full
measure for the earlier of the two concertos.
The second concerto is scored for full
orchestra, minus timpani replaced by
bass drum. The work is fully realised
and played very effectively by the young
I have had much pleasure
from this disc and will be returning
to it regularly. I highly recommend
It is well worth placing
your order through www.buywell.com.
Have a good look at their site and see
just what treasures are available on
the Eloquence label.