Bargain Bin Triple Concerto

Category: Music

Another excellent Sony Essential Classics CD.Eugene Istomin, piano;Isaac Stern, violin; Leonard Rose, cello. I really bought this for the Fleisher/Szell Piano Concerto #5 because I was missing it and never a big fan of Ormandy. Always thought his conducting was ponderous and lacked emotion. Well, it turns out that the "Emperor" is just so-so and the Ormandy led Triple Concerto is full of energy and even humor. You can really hear the fun the soloists are having, something you often get with Isaac Stern around.
This original Colunbia recording from either 1961 or 65, the notes are unclear, is very well re-mastered with emphasis on the soloists, really bringing life to the tone and timbre of the instruments. The Largo movement is especially gorgeous, almost chamber music-like in the spotlight it puts on the three. It's as if the the soloists were an ensemble that played together all the time instead of superstars whose schedules allowed them to come together just for this performance.
The Rondo alla Polacca is way uptempo for Ormandy, almost too much, with 16 bars to go you wonder who is going to break the tape.
The orchestra is quite recessed and blurry, typical of what Columbia did in those days. As accompaniament though, it really doesn't detract from the performance. Highly recommended.
A lot of the historic Stern recordings are excellent. Not so much anymore, we all get old unfortunitely. I think Sony trots him out on a lot of their recent chamber releases because his name sells. I'll give it a listen if I come accross it, thanks. My recording of the Triple is with Menahem Pressler on Piano with newer Beaux Arts Trio members. They also out shine the orchestra on that recording.