Vladimir Ashkenazy - The First Recordings 4-cd
Vladimir Ashkenazy was born in 1937 in Gorky, then in the Soviet Union (now Nizhny Novgorod, Russia). Three years later his family moved to Moscow. When, in 1955, he was the youngest of five Soviet pianists to be allowed to travel to Warsaw to take part in the International Chopin Piano Competition, Ashkenazy was by no means regarded as a child prodigy at the Moscow Conservatory where he was by then studying piano. Nonetheless, his performance secured him second place and subsequently the particular attention of Soviet cultural circles. That attention proved justified when, a year later, Ashkenazy won the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition in Brussels, as a result of which he was able to gain his first experience of extended international tours. His reputation was finally cemented in 1962 when he won the world-renowned International Tchaikovsky Competition. In 1963 the Soviet authorities allowed him and his family to spend six months in London, at the end of which they settled permanently there. Vladimir Ashkenazy is regarded as the most exceptional pianist of his generation. Music critics attest to his outstanding virtuosity, which he combines with a well-rounded sound and a keen sense of formal and tonal balance” (Harden/Wilmes: Pianisten Profile, Bärenreiter). The present release features some of his first recordings.