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Piano Ctos 1 & 4 / Rhapsody on Theme of Paganini


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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Concerto No. 1 in F-Sharp Minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 1: I. VivacePhilippe Entremont;The Philadelphia Orchestra;Eugene Ormandy12:20Album Only
Listen  2. Concerto No. 1 in F-Sharp Minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 1: II. AndantePhilippe Entremont;The Philadelphia Orchestra;Eugene Ormandy 5:41£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. III. Allegro vivacePhilippe Entremont;The Philadelphia Orchestra;Eugene Ormandy 7:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Concerto No. 4 in G Minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 40: I. Allegro vivacePhilippe Entremont;The Philadelphia Orchestra;Eugene Ormandy 9:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Concerto No. 4 in G Minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 40: II. LargoPhilippe Entremont;The Philadelphia Orchestra;Eugene Ormandy 6:56£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. III. Allegro vivacePhilippe Entremont;The Philadelphia Orchestra;Eugene Ormandy 9:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 43Philippe Entremont;The Philadelphia Orchestra;Eugene Ormandy21:52Album Only

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
45 years later - and still the very best! 11 Feb 2003
By Mark Blackburn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
45 years ago my English-born grandfather---a gifted, classically trained pianist and music critic in Ottawa Canada---introduced me to what he claimed was "the best recording of the best piano performance" he'd ever heard. I can still see that black vinyl record with its gray 'Columbia Masterworks' label turning on my grandfather's record player---as I, with goose bumps, listened for the first time to Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini. A young French pianist, Philippe Entremont was performing with the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Eugene Ormandy.
One year ago(February/02) I received from Amazon.com a new copy of the Sony CD remix (but with a different cover) of this, my all-time favorite classical music recording. And once again I was 'transported' by the same beauty that so overwhelmed me as a young boy, this time shaken with tears of joy, and saying aloud to myself: "What a composition! What a performance! What a recording!"
I was interested to learn that the re-mix for CD by engineer Chris Herles involved producer Howard H. Scott who was producer of the original recording February 1, 1958 at Philadelphia's Broadwood Hotel. Only the inadequate liner notes (so typical of today's "budget" recordings) reflect the amazingly low price of this CD which offers improved sound over the original, vinyl Columbia record. (Seems to me grandfather was always praising English and German classical recordings, and was underwhelmed by Columbia's "Masterworks.") But this CD version from Sony is a treat for the ears.
According to the original liner notes (not included with the CD) Rachmaninoff composed the "Rhapsody" during a 41-day period in 1934; it received its debut with the great pianist himself as soloist less than three months later (November 7) with the Philadelphia Orchestra, under the baton of Leopold Stokowski.
The meager liner notes for the CD have nothing to say about the featured pianist. The original album noted that Entremont was wildly acclaimed at London's Festival Hall (a month later March 9, 1958) with a reviewer for the London Daily Telegraph declaring "the young French pianist . . . is nothing less than a genius." The ever-conservative London Times summed up this performance succinctly: "In Rachmaninoff's Paganini Rhapsody his sparkling fingerwork and his wonderfully evocative tone coloring and phrasing completely transformed the work from the mere finger-exercise-ground we often hear into the subtle and seductive spell of the kind that Paganini himself would lay upon his listeners."
Coincidentally on the same day last year I obtained, from another source listed at Amazon.com, a different recording of the same work, featuring Jean-Yves Thibaudet and the Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy. It is a wonderful recording, beautifully played. But the Entremont/Ormandy/Philadelphia is the definitive version for a couple of reasons: Entremont when he was young was not only the fleetest-fingered pianist imaginable, but his shading, his ability to modulate his volume with feeling at breathtaking speed, has never been equaled. Beyond that, there is what could only be described as an 'organic' integration of piano and orchestra into some great, supremely coordinated, unified 'creature'---which makes this the unsurpassed performance of a lifetime.
Grandpa, if you're looking down (and may we assume the music is even better up there?) your opinion of 45 years ago still holds true down here.
Mark Blackburn
Winnipeg Canada
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
a tremendous value 20 Jun 2004
By Alejandra Vernon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
These concertos are brilliantly performed and make a great package for anyone wanting to build a classical music collection on a budget. Philippe Entremont was a child prodigy, winning awards when he was a teenager, which explains the technical and artistic excellence of these recordings; the concertos were recorded in 1961 and '63, when he was in his mid twenties, but the "Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini", which is a spectacular rendition, was recorded when he was 23, and already a mature and seasoned pianist. I remember seeing him in Carnegie Hall at around this time period, and his musicianship was flawless, despite his youth.
Youth of course is no barrier to genius, as Rachmaninov composed his Piano Concerto # 1 when he was 18, performing it in 1892 in his student years...though he revised it in 1917, it is still Rachmaninov's "Opus 1".
The 4th Concerto was written much later, after he had emigrated to the U.S., in 1926.
The "Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini" is one of my very favorite pieces by Rachmaninov, based on Paganini's "Caprice in A Minor", it is lush and romantic, and one I never tire of hearing.
Entremont is ably backed by the great Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and this is a terrific CD for anyone who doesn't insist on the latest in sound technology for their music, and considers the interpretation a higher priority; though this disc has been well re-mastered, these recordings are still over 40 years old, and sound a little "thin". Total playing time is 73'24.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Very polished but lacks the Slavic fervor 13 Oct 2003
By Avid Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I love Entremont and have many of his recordings. Of the many copies of the concertos this one is near the top but it seems to possess that French polish rather that a Slavic heat. It is almost too smooth, too easy but I will say that the sound is grand and in the "old style". Very enjoyable recording.
Love my Rachmaninoff 26 May 2013
By Toni - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Love this piano concerto. It came all wrapped but the plastic was cracked. I worried it would be defective. The CD itself was fine.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Esta versión de la Rapsodia no es la pirotecnia usual 30 April 2007
By H. Mejia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Philippe Entremont es un pianista de primera línea, y los dos conciertos incluídos en este album son de las mejores versiones que se puedan encontrar, pero lo que realmente vale de este album es la rapsodia sobre un tema de paganini (Capricho #24 para violín solo) que en la mayoría de las versiones se convierte en una carrera, que no competencia, entre pianista y orquesta. En esta versión Entremont da cuenta de porqué fue considerado un niño prodigio; su control y musicalidad en todod el transcurso de la obra es una cátedra sobre interpretación, en el mejor sentido de la palabra, sin mencionar por supuesto a la Filarmónica de Filadelfia con el entrañable Eugene Ormandy.
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