Saturday, June 16, 2018

A CD Box Set Like No Others - Read On...

When Anton Rubinstein launched a new program at the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1861 dealing with pedagogical  methodology pertaining to the piano, he established the so-called Russian School, which continues with unabated success to this day. Rubinstein's  particular attachment to Liszt and his unprecedented legacy is the catalyst which brought this gargantuan contribution to the piano into being. And this particular box set of ten CD's is a lexicon which represents the results of the Russian School in the most comprehensive view I know of that comes out of the recording industry.
I believe that this collection was produced in Mother Russia in or around 1995, and is a collection of recordings that represent the astounding accomplishments of  products  of the School during the better part of the past century. The performers are:
Alexander Goldenweiser
Heinrich Neuhaus
Samuil Feinberg
Maria Yudina
Vladimir Sofronitsky
Sviatoslav Richter
Emil Gilels
Lazar Berman
Mikhail Pletnev
Evgeny Kissin
Names like Richter, Gilels, (possibly)Berman,  Pletnev and Kissin leap out at us due to their fame as reigning pianists. Pletnev and Kissin remain powers well-known to us, as contemporaries.
However; how many of us are familiar with most of the remainder on the above list?
Due to  the nature of an authoritarian state, both race (some were Jews who were restricted much of their time from leaving Russia) and other personal issues, a number of the remainder had not performed outside of the country much, if at all.
But listen to these performers, and you will become aware of their stature as world-class pianists in their own right. All of these lesser known pianists became well known as teachers, which has helped to maintain the magnificent continuum of the Russian School to this day.
How about a couple of names not listed above who were also results of the Russian Piano School?
How about Rachmaninoff? or Horowitz?
Need I go on?...
Enjoy!

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