Friday, January 25, 2013

Awards 2012 - Reissue

"The Complete Recordings"
Moriz Rosenthal

"There are 97 titles on these five CDs lasting just over six hours... Of these 97 titles, Rosenthal recorded two or more versions of 18 of them... Non-specialists to whom such variations of detail are of no interest might be deterred from investigating. I would urge them to think again because they will be missing out on hearing one of the indisputably great pianists in history, albeit captured when he was judged to be past his prime (he was 65 when he made his first disc recording)—though few living pianists at the height of their powers can equal the sexagenarian Rosenthal in his own dizzying Fantasy on Themes from Johann Strauss... With Ward Marston's superb restoration and remastering, APR's exemplary annotation and a first-rate booklet from Jonathtan Summers, this is, quite simply, pianophile heaven." - Jeremy Nicholas, Gramophone.
"In the palmy days of the 19th Century piano virtuoso there was less separation between highbrow and popular music than would be the case after classical music became "classical". Rosenthal's virtuosity was of that older, less innocent school; he does things with waltzes and mazurkas that might bring blushes to a sailor. Jaw-dropping improvisational things... As heard on records the by-then-elderly pianist's inventiveness and displays of shameless virtuosity are of a kind to send erotic shivers down an antiquary's spine... Uncork this unassuming bottle and its concealed genie will sweep you away on golden wings of imagination." - David Radcliffe, American Record Guide.  

"The Celebrated Early Recordings". Juilliard Quartet [West Hill Radio Archives]
"The Studio Recordings 1954-60". Michael Rabin [Testament]
Liszt: Opera paraphrases. Jerome Lewenthal [LP Classics]
"A Treasury of Studio Recordings, 1931-55". Zino Francescatti [Music and Arts]

This category has turned out to be quite a wide-ranging one: last year's winner was Hyperion's complete Liszt piano music, which is quite a different sort of "reissue" to this collection of much older recordings. And while two of last year's runners-up were instances of a major label making good use of its back catalogue, there are no such entries this time round.

No comments: