An early Shaded Dog pressing of these wonderful performances by pianist Van Cliburn and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Walter Hendl, here with INSANELY GOOD Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) Living Stereo sound from first note to last
Both of these sides boast full brass and an especially clear, solid, present piano, one with practically no trace of vintage analog tube smear
Most of the Van Cliburn recordings for RCA that we’ve played over the years did not sound very good to us, which is why you haven’t seen one our site since 2005 (!)
Back in the days when the TAS Super Disc List meant something, this record was on it and deservedly so
To read the 60-odd reviews and commentaries we’ve written for piano concertos, please click here
The best sounding piano concerto records that we’ve auditioned to date can be found here
1960 was a great years for classical recordings – other Must Own Orchestral releases can be found here.
Early Shaded Dog pressings of Heifetz’s records rarely survived in audiophile playing condition. Top quality early pressings in clean condition come our way at most a few times a year, which means shootouts for them get done infrequently. There are hundreds, even thousands, of clean, vintage classical pressings sitting in our stockroom waiting for a few more copies to come our way so that we can finally do a shootout. These things cannot be rushed.
As for the sound, it’s practically impossible to find the richly textured, natural string tone offered here on anything but the vintage pressings produced in the 50s and 60s. Record making may be a lost art, but as long as we have these wonderful vintage pressings to play, it’s an art that is not being lost on us.
Most of the older reviews you see are for records that did not go through the shootout process, the revolutionary approach to finding better sounding pressings we developed in the early 2000s and have since turned into a fine art.