V1: The London Recordings

Album cover art for upc 0196587301422
Catalog: TLR 2203042

Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

These recordings were unearthed from the BBC archives. All the restoration work has been done from the original analog tapes. The works presented here are from a historic session in the London studios on June 30, 1959. For decades, pianists and musicians around the world have revered this recording, which was previously known only on video. It was important to us to finally release it on disc. While searching for the videotape in the BBC archives, we discovered the forgotten analog stereo tape from which we were able to restore this incredibly emotional moment in history. London, April 8, 1982 – The public is waiting in front of the Royal Festival Hall and hopes that the immense Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli will play - he who used to cancel his concerts at the last moment when he judged that neither of the two pianos accompanying him were able to render the colors that his mind and fingers had to sculpt. As for the BBC engineers, they wonder if they will be able to put their microphones and their cameras: Sergiu Celibidache has a deep aversion to recording, defending that music is an "Art of the moment" and that microphones are incapable of rendering all the harmonic richness and allow to understand his choices of tempi, determined by the acoustic parameters of the moment. It will take not one but several miracles. They will take place that evening. The extreme demands, the vision of the music, the trust and the understanding that these two legends have shared since the end of the 1960s contribute to this.The pianist's approach is that of a Prince. He shakes a discreet black handkerchief with both hands. Maestro Celibidache follows suit. Tonight, they perform Maurice Ravel's last orchestral work - his Concerto in G, which the composer planned to perform himself on "the five continents" before his persuaded him to give it up.To succeed in expressing beauty with such obviousness and simplicity is the prerogative of geniuses whose ability to suspend time is felt by the listener. How can one not remember these words of André Malraux when listening to the second movement? "Art has the function of removing something from time, of suggesting the world of truths, with regard to which all human reality is only an appearance...to bring an answer to the questioning that poses to man his share of eternity".

Price: $29.98