Raymond Lewenthal - The Complete Rca And Columbia

Album cover art for upc 190758536422
Label:
Catalog: 19075853642
Format: COMPACT DISC

Raymond Lewenthal

In his own words, Raymond Lewenthal was an “octave thrower, long-distance arpeggioer and general producer of volcanic rumbles”. This hugely talented, extroverted pianist was also a key figure in the revival of a great deal of 19th-century piano music, most of all that of Charles-Valentin Alkan. Sony Classical’s new 6-CD collection of Lewenthal’s complete recordings for RCA and Columbia Masterworks celebrates this maverick pianist’s recorded legacy, with three LPs of material specially remastered from the analogue tapes. Its release comes thirty years after Lewenthal’s death in November 1988.Both a showman and a scholar, Lewenthal was born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1923, working as a child movie actor in Hollywood before beginning formal piano study at the age of 15. His teachers included Olga Samaroff and Alfred Cortot. Though his early career in the US flourished after a debut with Dmitri Mitropoulos and the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1948, he withdrew from public performance a few years later after being attacked in Central Park. By the time he returned to concertizing in the 1960s, he had become a champion of Alkan’s, much of whose music he edited for publication.His enthusiasm for obscure Romantic repertoire was not limited to Alkan. He revived Adolf von Henselt’s little-known Piano Concerto in F minor, a spectacularly difficult work, recording it with Sir Charles Mackerras and the LSO alongside his own version of Liszt’s Totentanz. “The sheer virtuoso bravura of it all is dazzling”, wrote Gramophone. With the same orchestra and conductor Eleazar de Carvalho, he also recorded Anton Rubinstein’s Fourth Piano Concerto in D minor, and the dazzling finale to Franz Xaver Scharwenka’s Second Concerto in C minor.Two albums of Alkan’s solo piano music are a fitting tribute to Lewenthal’s obsession; they include his Symphonie, Grande Sonatine and many studies and miniatures. “Raymond Lewenthal measures up to Alkan’s fearsome demands with expressive gusto”, wrote BBC Music Magazine – one visionary eccentric pianist channeling the spirit of another. Lewenthal also recorded the Hexaméron, a work written collaboratively by five pianists and put together by Liszt, and – now receiving its first CD release – Liszt’s Réminiscences de Norma ( “a revelation” – Gramophone).One final CD shows another, no less significant side to Lewenthal: several recordings of him discussing works collected here at the keyboard, again never before released on disc. This vital, vivacious communicator – “a kind of Romantic idol”, The New York Times remarked – still has a lot to say to us today, about a repertoire that continues to benefit from his passionate advocacy.TRACKLISTDISC 1:Alkan: Etudes in All the Minor Keys, op. 39Alkan: Barcarolle, op. 65, no. 6Alkan: Grande Sonate, op. 33Alkan: SymphonieDISC 2:Liszt: Hexaméron, S 392Liszt: Réminiscences de Norma, S 394DISC 3:von Henselt: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in F minor, op. 16Liszt-Lewenthal: Totentanz for Piano and OrchestraDISC 4:Rubinstein: Concerto for Piano No. 4 in D minor (Remastered)Scharwenka: Finale to Concerto No. 2 in C minorDISC 5:Alkan: Sonatine for Piano, op. 61Alkan: Petit conte, ICA 46Alkan: Le tambour bat aux champs, ICA 75Alkan: Esquisses, op. 63, no. 1: La VisionAlkan: Marcia funèbre, sulla morte d'un Pappagallo, ICA 35Alkan: Esquisses, op. 63, no. 45: Les DiablotinsAlkan: Etude in A-FlatAlkan: Esquisses, op. 63, no. 47: ScherzettoAlkan: Les mois, op. 74, no. 10: Gros tempsAlkan: Esquisses, op. 63, no. 11: Les SoupirsAlkan: Esquisses, op. 63, no. 12: BarcarolletteAlkan: Esquisses, op. 63, no. 39: Heraclite et DemocriteAlkan: Esquisses, op. 63, no. 7: Le FrissonDISC 6:Liszt: Années de pèlerinage I, S. 160 DISC 7:Liszt: Années de pèlerinage II, S. 161    DISC 8:Narration: Lewenthal Discusses and Illustrates at the Keyboard the Henselt Piano ConcertoNarration: Lewenthal Discusses and Illustrates at the Keyboard Liszt’s TotentanzNarration: Lewenthal Discusses and Illustrates at the Keyboard Rubinstein’s Piano Concerto No. 4Narration: Lewenthal Discusses and Illustrates at the Keyboa