The more I get to know his recordings the more he becomes probably my favourite of all pianists .
From his penetrating Beethoven and Schubert sonatas. Those marvellous Beethoven Concerto recordings - the Grieg and Schumann, Mozart 15,23 & 24 ,Brahms , Tchaikovsky - he was a man who put his technique solely at the service of the music rather than his own self aggrandisement .
Bought his Chopin record on Testament in a sale recently and I think it contains some of the loveliest Chopin playing I have ever heard . The Berceuse and the two very famous Nocturnes in particular sound fresh minted .
Any other recommended Solomon recordings ?
I have most of the recordings you mention and some you don't. If your mention of Solomon's Brahms refers only to the concerto recordings, do seek out his Handel Variations. I have them on CD (APR?? - can't put my hand on it just now and the coupling is IIRC the Archduke Trio).
There's also the Bliss Concerto with Boult on Naxos c/w a Beethoven 3rd Conc also with Boult from 1944. I have Haydn and Schubert D664 sonatas along with Mozart's 'Turkish rondo' sonata on an old Concert Classics mono LP. He did another Mozart sonata, K576, which came in a 2-LP reissue of the 3 Mozart concertos you mention and the K331.
I have the Testamant Chopin CD, along with a fair few of the 78s, some from my grandfather's collection, and all quite wonderful - somehow a perfect combination of classicism and romanticism. Also on 78 I have Brahms pieces Op 117/2 and 79/2 and Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 15, all wonderfully lucid yet big-hearted performances. I think he did other short Brahms and Liszt solo works, but I've never seen these on CD. And somehow I've missed out on his Tchaik 1. You inspire a sortie to Amazon
Last edited by LeMartinPecheur; 05-07-11 at 23:49.
I too greatly admire his recordings. If I had to pick just two of them, then I would choose the Mozart K450 concerto and the Beethoven Hammerklavier sonata, my favourite versions of both works.
Couldn't resist the Testament disc with Brahms 3rd sonata and Schumann Carnaval on Amazon Mktplace for a fiver!
If you're into Liszt there's a Hungarian Fantasia with PO/Susskind from 1948. I have it in a 1972 "Tribute to Solomon" HMV LP box acquired s/h in Jersey a couple of years ago. Haven't seen it on CD though.
This is the Handel Var's disc I mentioned http://www.amazon.co.uk/Solomon-Firs...9904979&sr=1-9 though there are other ways of picking it up.
Don't forget the HMV Icon set which contains most of the items mentioned. Although I admire his technique, I am rarely carried away with his performances which often seem over-restrained. A notable exception is his recording of the Liszt Hungarian Fantasia which really crackles.
I recently heard the Hungarian Fantasia for the first time on the EMI 'Icon' box and it is absolutely electrifying. Surely Horowitz could not have heard this when he described Solomon's playing as 'boring'! I was brought up on his recordings of Beethoven's Moonlight and Les Adieux sonatas and still love them. In the Hammerklavier he can play the first movement at Beethoven's tempo and (unlike Schnabel) get all the notes right. The result is thrilling.
Originally Posted by LeMartinPecheur
I agree with everything positive that has been said so far about Solomon. There's a good biography by Bryan Crimp. To think that he was cut off by a stroke at age 56/7 - what might we have been treated to in his later years?
Personally I'd go for a Chopin sonata, the Brahms Ballades and the Beethoven cycle completed
A wonderful artist
Audite have released some 1956 RIAS recordings from the master tapes
Have spent too much lately so will not partake (yet)
I think I know what Horowitz meant, though 'boring' is perhaps not the right word for it. I heard Solomon play, and even as a teenager I was struck by the overwhelming competence of it all, everything well within his compass and nothing out of place. I still get the same feeling whenever I listen to his recordings today, beautifully executed but nicely self-contained.
I know this cannot be the whole story. Musicians I admire have berated me for this restricted appreciation of Solomon's playing. But sixty years (on and off) of listening to Solomon have not changed my immediate and invariable reaction. It is a gut feeling and I cannot change it.
In other words I much prefer Clifford Curzon's playing (among British pianists of that era).
Ah, the Moonlight and Les Adieux! HMV 10" LP, BLP 1051. My first tasting of Beethoven sonatas too, somewhere in my earliest childhood via a Pye 'Black Box'. My Dad's copy still sits in an honoured place on my shelves despite the fact that I rushed to buy the HMV SLS box of all the sonatas that Solomon recorded, as soon as it came out. And what a goldmine it was, and is!
Originally Posted by rauschwerk