(a 1973 release, featuring the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Herbert von Karajan, pianist Alexis Wiessenberg)
One of the very most popular of all classical compositions, Sergei Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto probably owes its greatness, just as much to the psychiatrist who treated Rachmaninov, immediately before he started the composing the work. He was being treated for depression, because of the sour homeland reception to his First Symphony in the late 1890s (an extremely unconventional work, that was later a roaring success in both Late Forties USSR and USA).
Like Franz Liszt, Rachmaninov was one of the greatest of all piano virtuosi, although he rarely indulged in musical exhibitionism for its own sake. He found that, to compose genuinely romantic music became almost second nature.
Side One : Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor Op.18, by Rachmaninov :-
1) I Moderato 2) II Adagio sostenuto.
Side Two : Piano Concerto No.2 (continued...) :-
1) III Allegro scherzando.
Cesar Franck's 'Variations Symphoniques' was completed in piano score by early-October 1885 and scored by mid-December of the same year. It remains one of the Frenchman's finest pieces.
Side Two : 2) Symphonic Variations, by Franck.
Records graded to RRPG grades (record/sleeve) EX+/EX.