Legendary Soviet Pianists in East Germany ∙ 2CD


This double album presents a collection of Soviet pianists, featuring both renowned figures such as Tatyana Nikolayeva and Lev Oborin, as well as lesser-known artists like Nina Yemelyanova and Tatyana Goldfarb. Each pianist brings their unique approach to the repertoire. Goldfarb offers a more lyrical rendition of Tchaikovsky’s First Concerto, emphasizing its expressive qualities rather than focusing solely on virtuosic display. Yemelyanova, accompanied by the esteemed Hermann Abendroth, delivers an impressive performance of Rachmaninov’s Third Concerto. On the other end of the interpretative spectrum, Nikolayeva and Oborin entrance with their distinct and captivating interpretations.

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CD 1

RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No 3 in D Minor, Op 30
Nina Yemelyanova ∙ piano
Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin
Hermann Abendroth ∙ conductor

Recorded · 15 November 1953 · Berlin · Finanzministerium · Rundfunk der DDR · Radio Studio Recording

TCHAIKOVSKY: Piano Concerto No 1 in B-flat Minor, Op 23
Tatyana Goldfarb ∙ piano
Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin
Franz Konwitschny ∙ conductor

Recorded · 21 April 1955 · Berlin · Finanzministerium · Rundfunk der DDR · Radio Studio Recording

CD 2

BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No 5 in E-flat Major, Op 73
Lev Oborin ∙ piano
Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin
Herbert Kegel ∙ conductor

Recorded · 23 October 1960 · Berlin · Funkhaus Nalepastraße · Rundfunk der DDR · Radio Studio Recording

MOZART: Piano Concerto in E-flat Major, KV 482
Tatyana Nikolayeva ∙ piano
Staatskapelle Dresden
Otmar Suitner ∙ conductor

Recorded · 30 October 1960 · Dresden · Kongreßhalle · Rundfunk der DDR · Radio Studio Recording

Article number: MC 1049
UPC barcode: 791154050613
Release date: 14 September 2020
Booklet: 8 Pages
Total timing: 73:37 CD1 ∙  72:36 CD2
From the Original Masters ∙ © 2020 Meloclassic

October 2021 ∙ French Diapason ∙ Laurent Muraro ∙ Legendary Soviet Pianists in East Germany 1953-1960
En Allemagne, mais de l’autre côté du rideau de fer, des concertos nous permettent de redécouvrir à Berlin les noms de Nina Yemlyanova (1912-1998) dans le 3e de Rachmaninov (1953 avec Abendroth) et surtout Tatyana Goldfarb (1914-1964), épatante dans le 1er de Tchaïkovski (en 1955 avec Konwitschny). Nous sommes en terrain plus connu avec « L’Empereur » un peu tranquille de Lev Oborine (en 1960 avec Kegel). Tatiana Nikolaïeva semble s’être davantage amusée à Dresde (en 1950 avec Suitner) – et nous avec – dans un 22e de Mozart revigorant.
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March 2021 ∙ British Gramophone ∙ Rob Cowan ∙ Legendary Soviet Pianists in East Germany 1953-1960
Less familiar piano legends: While Gilels is one of two Soviet piano giants who ruled the roost at home (no prizes for guessing who the other one was), four rather less celebrated figures brought together by Melo Classic also warrant the attention of discerning listeners. Tatyana Goldfarb (who died aged 49 in 1964) makes an especially lyrical statement of the principal second subject of Tchaikovsky’s First Concerto (Berlin RSO / Franz Konwitschny, 1955) whereas Nina Yemelyanova (1912-98) enjoys a soaring accompaniment for Rachmaninov’s Third Concerto, a memorable 1953 Berlin recording under Hermann Abendroth, the performance outgoing and energetic. At the other end of the interpretative spectrum comes Tatiana Nikolayeva in Mozart’s E flat Concerto, K482, with the superb Mozartian Otmar Suitner in Dresden in 1960, alert in the outer movements, though the Andante slow movement is both delicate and subtly expressed. And finally Lev Oborin, famous for duetting in Beethoven’s violin sonatas with David Oistrakh, here represented by a classically forthright account of the Emperor Concerto (Berlin, 1960) under an apparent interpretative soulmate, Herbert Kegel. All these performances repay repeated listening and the transfers are immaculate.
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March 2021 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Legendary Soviet Pianists in East Germany 1953–1960
I found this particular release from Meloclassic especially interesting, as it features two pianists I wasn’t familiar with. I have to admit that I’d never heard of Nina Yemelyanova (1912-1998) before. The 1953 recording of Rachmaninoff’s Third Concerto is the ideal vehicle for a pianist’s virtuosity, and Yemelyanova’s credentials in this regard don’t disappoint; she possesses both stamina and strength. Abendroth is at his finest in the slow movement, which truly tugs at the heartstrings, with the finale having ample rhythmic bite. Tatiana Goldfarb (1914-1964) tackles the Tchaikovsky First. It’s a compelling, full-blooded account. Konwitschny proves a sensitive and supportive collaborator. The slow movement overflows with rapt intensity, and the third movement has sufficient bite and tenacity, certainly packing a punch. Here Oborin performs Beethoven’s Piano Concerto 5 in a performance from Berlin in October 1960. Herbert Kegel brings heft and forward momentum to the first movement’s opening tutti in preparation for the soloist’s entrance. Oborin is a first-rate Beethoven player with a flawless technique. There’s marvelous interplay between soloist and orchestra throughout. The pianist’s gossamer touch in the central Adagio is captivating, and Kegel provides just the right amount of gentle support, maintaining an effortless melodic flow. The transition to the finale is seamless. The spirited finale sets the seal on a riveting performance. The best is saved till last. Nikolayeva’s Mozart performance alone is worth the price of the set. She’s fortunate to have the backing of the Staatskapelle Dresden and Otmar Suitner, a distinguished Mozart conductor. Added to that, the sound quality of this 1960 radio studio recording is superb, with an ideal balance struck between soloist and orchestra. The Concerto has some imaginative, colourful woodwind writing, which Suitner points up to striking effect. The slow movement’s tragic character makes a notable contrast with the outer movements. The sunny finale is particularly well done, with the horn calls vividly depicting the hunt. The two 1960s broadcasts are in better sound that the earlier ones. The accompanying liner provides biographical portraits of the pianists, which is very useful as the internet yields very little information on Yemelyanova and Goldfarb.
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