_Performers – Ashkenazy

Mussorgsky / Pictures at an Exhibition (Piano Version) / Ashkenazy

More of the music of Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881)

Reviews and Commentaries for the Music of Mussorgsky

  • A superb early London stereo pressing of our favorite solo piano performance of Mussorgsky’s masterful suite, with Double Plus (A++) sound from the first note to the last
  • It also plays a bit quieter than Mint Minus Minus – about as quiet as any copy ever will
  • The weight and warmth of side one’s recording from Kingsway Hall is faithfully captured in all its beauty on this very disc
  • The orchestral performance of the work is squeezed onto the second side of the record, and that is just not going to work with a 30 minute long piece of music unless you like sound that is compressed and bass-shy

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Rachmaninoff – Piano Concerto No. 2 / Ashkenazy / Kondrashin

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

 More Classical and Orchestral Recordings

  • An outstanding pressing of this superb Decca recording with Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
  • This copy is guaranteed to beat any and every pressing you have of the work or your money back
  • Big, clear, rich, dynamic, transparent and energetic – HERE is the sound that simply does not exist outside the world of the properly cleaned, properly pressed vintage LP
  • On both of these sides you’ll hear rich strings, clear horns, a piano that is full-bodied and natural, with a solid low end (the kind you rarely hear on record but is nonetheless strikingly obvious in the presence of the real instrument)

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Schumann / Piano Concerto / LSO / Ashkenazy

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M-. DEMO QUALITY. Stunning sound. A fabulous, warm reading of this Schumann concerto. This has a similar sonic magic to the EMI Glazunov Concerto. The hall ambience is palpable. The tonal balance is almost perfect.

It’s simply hard to fault music and sound of this caliber.

Mussorgsky – Ravel / Pictures at an Exhibition / Ashkenazy – Our Shootout Winner from 2011

More of the music of Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881)

Reviews and Commentaries for the Music of Mussorgsky

This original London pressing of the solo piano version of Pictures has uncannily natural piano reproduction, which is why we are awarding this side one our highest sonic grade, A Triple Plus.

The fact that the recording takes place in Kingsway Hall in 1967 no doubt plays a large part in the natural sound. The hall is bigger here than on other copies, the piano even more solidly weighted, yet none of this comes at the expense of the clarity of the playing.

The piano has no smear, allowing both the percussive aspects of the instrument and the extended harmonics of the notes to be heard clearly and appreciated fully.

Side two has Mehta’s performance of the orchestrated work squeezed onto side two, which is never a good idea if one is looking for high quality orchestral sound. The performance itself is mediocre as well.

We are not, and never haver been, big fans of Mehta’s work with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on London.

The exceptionally rare copy of Mehta’s Planets can sound good, but 90% of them do not — just don’t make the mistake of telling that to the average audiophile who owns one. Harry told him it was the best, he paid good money for it, and until someone tells him different it had better be “the one Planets to own.”

We see one of our roles here at Better Records as being the guys who actually will “tell you different,” and, more importantly, can back up our opinions with the records that make our case for us. (more…)

Chopin / Ashkenazy in Concert – Reviewed in 2009

Superb sounding Decca British Import LP!

This live recording has very natural sound. I normally do not care for Ashkenazy’s playing, but here he plays with a conviction that is usually lacking. Check out the 2nd movement on the sonata.

This album includes Chopin’s Sonata No. 2, Two Nocturnes, Mazurka in A and Grande Valse Brillante.