Rachmaninoff / Piano Concerto #2 / Cliburn / Reiner – Reviewed in 2011

More of the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)

Piano Concerto #2 / Cliburn / Reiner

xxxxx
xxxxx

A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

We dropped the needle on side one of this lovely and quite rare Shaded Dog pressing and heard very good Living Stereo orchestral sound. We ended up giving it a sonic grade of A+ to A++.

When we flipped it over and heard the sound on side two, our jaws hit the ground (simultaneously? Can’t say for sure). WOW! It’s clearly one of the BEST piano concerto recordings we have ever had the pleasure of placing on our turntable. It puts to shame 98% of the piano recordings we’ve played over the years. Who knew LSC 2601 could sound so good? 

No one besides us it seems. No audiophile reviewer seems to be impressed by it, as far as we can tell after a quick search. Is it the only copy in the world that sounds this good? Who’s to say? Side one won’t win any awards, but side two sure will. It sets a standard not many other recordings of piano and orchestra are going to be able to meet.

At Better Records we live for records like this. Who else can possibly find them in the numbers we do? We clean and play and critically listen to records by the score every day. No other individual or business on the planet can possibly make that claim.

And if you aren’t cleaning and playing records all day, there is no way to run into much more than a fraction of the great sounding discs we’ve found. With a full time staff of five, not a week goes by that we don’t hear a record that blows our mind. (Not all of them make it to the site mind you, but the records certainly get played and our minds do get blown.)

TAS List? Of course not. Be fair — Harry can’t have played every great classical record.

Side One

A+ to A++. Rich dark strings, excellent presence on the piano. Good clarity when the piano is solo, but some of the orchestral parts get congested and hard when loud. We took off a lot of points for that problem, a problem the majority of Golden Age recordings suffer from.

Side Two

A+++ As Good As It Gets White Hot Stamper sound! No smear on the piano or orchestra. Amazing clarity, with strings so rich and textured. The stage is as wide as any we’ve heard. We could go on but suffice to say this side is DEMO DISC of the highest order.

And the vinyl is QUIET, playing about Mint Minus!