_Performers – Katchen

Rachmaninoff / Concerto No. 2 – Katchen / Solti

More of the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff

  • An outstanding reissue pressing of this superb recording with solid Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
  • I’ve known how good this reissue can sound for more than twenty years – it 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 except in 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)
  • “Is the pulse even, building in steady crescendo, or do those famous opening measures find some subtle phrase within? Most settle for the former; not so, Katchen and Solti – and that pretty much describes the attitude of these artists in this piece altogether: searching for and finding the phrase within the obvious.”

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Letter of the Week – “What a privilege! A big big thank you.”

More of the Music of Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1973)

Reviews and Commentaries for the Music of Rachmaninoff

One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:

Hey Tom,

Saturday morning 06.15 waking up, checking messages, news and of course your site. Actually a daily routine.

Finding there Rachmaninov 2. For so many, as for me, an astonishing work.

So once again excited. Then checking reviews on the performance (you just take it for granted what an amazing thing this internet is). Searching, finding and reading about this specific performance is fun, thrilling in a way and in the process you learn more about the composer and piece.

The reviews show the performance as a stand out; for some brusque and maybe too fast leaving out the drama, but for many an exhilarating benchmark.

Afterwards going back to the better-records site to read about the recording. What a great story about Wilkie and the Decca tree.

And then of course being able to actually buy that record. What a privilege! A big big thank you. (more…)

Rachmaninov / Piano Concerto No. 2 – Speakers Corner Reviewed

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

Sonic Grade: Unknown

In the late ’90s we described the sound of this pressing this way:

“Outstanding Rachmaninoff, dark and rich. Highly recommended.”

Since we have not played a copy of the album in over ten years [now 20], we have taken down our previous Sonic Grade of B as we have no idea how the record would fare today on our much-improved system.

For all we know it may have been recut, which is another problem with our older reviews of records we used to like: the new version could have very different sound from the one we played (and that’s not even taking into account the pressing variability, which we all know is sometimes huge).

Brahms / Variations And Fugue On A Theme By Handel / Katchen

Near Mint copy with excellent sound! Superb piano tone for these solo pieces and very quiet vinyl add up to a wonderful listening experience. This surprisingly quiet British vinyl is going to be hard to beat by other Golden Age labels. (Finding solo piano recordings on RCA or Mercury from this era that play quietly is practically impossible.)

Side one is super TRANSPARENT — the piano is so clear! It lacks a bit of weight on the first side; perhaps that’s the way it is actually supposed to sound, who can say? On side two it sounds a little better to my ear, big and dark and very solid. It’s pretty amazing in its own way. And Katchen’s performance is of course superb. All in all a very find piano recording.

This lovely album also includes Variations on a Theme by Paganini. (more…)

Bartok / Piano Concerto No. 3 / Kertesz / Katchen – Reviewed in 2009

More of the music of Bela Bartok (1881-1945)

This Super Rare original London pressing has EXCELLENT SOUND and lovely music.

The piano is especially well recorded, with the orchestra exhibiting the patented lovely, rich, rossiny string tone, with tons of depth and spaciousness to the sound.

This is the first copy of the album I have run into, and my first exposure to the Bartok Piano Concerto, which is actually wonderful.