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Penguin Guide, January 2009

Rachmaninov used to say that his friend Moiseiwitsch was an even finer interpreter of some of his works than himself, and from this vintage collection one can understand why. Moiseiwitsch recorded No. 2 in 1937 for HMV on four budget-label 78s, undercutting the composer’s classic version by half in price, yet the performance is if anything more electrifying. The sound is limited, with the piano close, but in Ward Marston’s masterly transfer one quickly forgets the limitations, as one does in the other pre-war recording of the Rhapsody of a Theme of Paganini, a sparkling performance, again urgent in its expression, with the celebrated eighteenth variation all the warmer for going at a flowing speed. The rarity is the post-war, 1948 account of No. 1, in which the sound is full and clear with Moiseiwitsch still at the peak of his form, both passionate and sparkling, powerful and poetic.



Geoffrey Norris
The Daily Telegraph (Australia), September 2003

"BENNO Moiseiwitsch (1890-1963) was one of Rachmaninov's favourite interpreters of his piano music. The style of playing is utterly different from the one that the composer enshrined on his own recordings, and, while one would never want to be without Rachmaninov's lucidity and refined poetry, it is fascinating to hear the music responding so readily to Moiseiwitsch's more passionate temperament.

A few cuts to the first movement cadenza in the Concerto No 1 - and one or two slightly splashy notes - do not detract from a performance that has tremendous energy and drive, well stoked by the Philharmonia under Sargent, who elicits lively orchestral detail.

This recording comes from 1948. The Second Concerto (with the Liverpool Philharmonic under Walter Goehr) and Moiseiwitsch's spry Paganini Rhapsody (with the same orchestra under Basil Cameron) were made in 1937 and 1938 respectively, while the composer was still alive. The acoustics of the Second Concerto are a bit cramped, but even so, if Rachmaninov thought that Moiseiwitsch played the concerto better than he did himself, who are we to argue?"



Martin Scot Kosin
Fanfare, August 2002

"If ever a pianist made a case for the First Concerto, it was Moisewitch. His is a loving performance...At budget price, this release is unquestionably a supreme bargain."



Geoffrey Norris
The Daily Telegraph (Australia), February 2002

"BENNO Moiseiwitsch (1890-1963) was one of Rachmaninov's favourite interpreters of his piano music. The style of playing is utterly different from the one that the composer enshrined on his own recordings, and, while one would never want to be without Rachmaninov's lucidity and refined poetry, it is fascinating to hear the music responding so readily to Moiseiwitsch's more passionate temperament.

A few cuts to the first movement cadenza in the Concerto No 1 - and one or two slightly splashy notes - do not detract from a performance that has tremendous energy and drive, well stoked by the Philharmonia under Sargent, who elicits lively orchestral detail.

This recording comes from 1948. The Second Concerto (with the Liverpool Philharmonic under Walter Goehr) and Moiseiwitsch's spry Paganini Rhapsody (with the same orchestra under Basil Cameron) were made in 1937 and 1938 respectively, while the composer was still alive. The acoustics of the Second Concerto are a bit cramped, but even so, if Rachmaninov thought that Moiseiwitsch played the concerto better than he did himself, who are we to argue?"






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2:16:26 PM, 3 August 2015
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