|SCHUMANN: Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54. (Claudio
Arrau). GRIEG: Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16. (Emil Gilels).
Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orch/ Eugen Jochum, cond.
TAHRA TAH 241 (F) (ADD) TT: 66:08
Concerto No. 20 in D Minor (Rudolf Buchbinder); REGER: Serenade,
Op. 95. MENDELSSOHN: Violin
Concerto in E Minor (Salvatore Accardo); WEBER: Oberon Overture. BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 3 in E Flat, Op. 55. HINDEMITH: Mathis der Maler
BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 15
(Solomon/Berlin Phil. Orch). Piano Concerto No. 2 in B Flat, Op.
83 (Emil Gilels/Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orch). Eugen Jochum, cond.
Here are three eminently satisfying TAHRA releases reflecting the label's interest in the artistry of Eugen Jochum. It might seem odd to list these as at the present time they are hard to get except in cut-out bins. Through the label's close association with Radio Nederland they have received permission and the rights to issue these tapes of live performances, perfectly transferred to CD, and they are to be commended for "going through the proper channels" in their endeavors. These are superlative performances very much worth hunting for. Jochum recorded both of the Brahms concertos with Emil Gilels and the Berlin Philharmonic for Deutsche Gramophon in 1972, recordings recognized as among the finest ever made. This live Amsterdam recording of Concerto No. 2 was made November 1, 1973. This performance also has been included on a budget-priced CD in the recent "Concertgebouw Series" on Audiophile Classics, but there is something odd -- this is reportedly the same performance -- recording dates are the same -- (although the AC CD is mono while the Tahra has beautiful stereo); yet there is a minor horn flub on the second horn solo at the beginning of the first movement in the Tahra performance -- not heard on the AC issue. It doesn't seem any editing was done. Can anyone explain this? Otherwise the performance seems to be the same on both CDs. Solomon's live Concerto No. 1 was recorded in Berlin December 14, 1954 about two years after he recorded the concerto with Rafael Kubelik and the Philharmonia Orchestra for EMI. This was issued on Testament some years ago (SBT 1041) still available although not listed in the latest Schwann/Opus.
Tahra's CD called "The Romantic Concerto" is in superb, natural stereo and again shows Jochum as a sensitive, involved partner. Here he is working with the best: Emil Gilels in one of the finest performances you'll ever heard of Grieg's concerto from a concert January 28, 1979, and Claudio Arrau in Schumann's concerto, recorded April 21, 1977, a dozen years after he made his unexceptional Philips recording of the work with the Concertgebouw under Christoph von Dohnányi, at one time available on CD (Philips 426 079) coupled with Grieg's concerto.
The four-CD Jochum set of live stereo recordings dating from 1976 to 1980 is typical of his repertory. His long association with the Concertgebouw (his first concert was November 13, 1941) is always apparent in these glowing performances. Again the soloists, pianist Rudolf Buchbinder and Salvatore Accardo have the advantage of sensitive accompaniment. Reger's Serenade, Op. 95 was one of Jochum's favorites; he recorded it with the Concertgebouw for Telefunken in June 1943. Sound throughout is exemplary -- one hears a magnificent orchestra playing in an acoustically-perfect hall. The set also includes a bonus CD -- "Eugen Jochum -- a self-portrait" -- which is taken from Deutsche Gramophon LPM 18734, featuring the conductor speaking of his life and career interspersed with excerpts from many of his recordings.
All of these deserve reissue; in the meantime, be on the lookout for them in cut-out bins. They are all worth owning, particularly the Brahms, Grieg and Schumann concertos.