Kyrill Kondrashin Edition (1937-1963) 13-cd
Zak, Yakov; Gilels, Emil; Alexander Yurlov Russian State Academic Choir, male section; Ostroumova, Nina; Shumilova, Elena; RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra; Firsova, Vera; Verbitskaya, Evgenia; Richter, Sviatoslav; Jakushenko, Viktor; Kogan, Leonid; Tschechische Philharmonie; Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra; Oistrakh, David; Korotkov, Gennady; Skazin, Mikhail; Shchelgolkov, Nicolai; Nelepp, Georgi; Simsky, Boris; Gromadsky, Vitaly; Kondrashin, Kirill; Mikhailovsky Theatre Orchestra; Staatskapelle Dresden; Moscow Phi
Leaving the Bolshoi Theatre in 1956, Kondrashin joined the Moscow Philharmonic as one of its principal conductors, and from 1960 to 1976 he was the orchestra’s Artistic Director. He made a great name for himself as a concert “accompanist”. This Edition contains a number of his quite wonderful concert recordings with the greatest soloists of the then Soviet Union. As far as was possible in the USSR under Nikita Khrushchev (General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party 1953-1964) and Leonid Brezhnev (1964-1982), he preserved his artistic independence. The most famous example in the West of his arts of “accompaniment” came not once but twice in 1958. He was on the podium of the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra on April 11 when the young American Harvey Lavan Cliburn contested the final of the first ever Tchaikovsky Competition. In defiance of Cold War party doctrine, Van Cliburn won first prize to thunderous applause from the Russian audience. The cultural establishment then let Kondrashin travel to the USA, where he conducted Cliburn in the winning work, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, in New York’s Carnegie Hall on May 19 – and recorded one of the biggest classical best-sellers of all time for RCA. Kondrashin’s fame grew at international level and even more in his homeland. Not only did he premiere Shostakovich’s Thirteenth, he brought to light his Fourth Symphony, hidden from view till 1962 ever since its completion in 1936.