CD Byron Janis: The RCA Recordings (1950-1959), Reiner/Janis/CSO

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Discs 5
Record Label Sony Classical
Release Date 2016

Byron Janis has been called one of the most exciting and dynamic American pianists to emerge on the post-war scene. All of his RCA recordings, dating from 1947 to 1959, are collected in this 5-CD set. The performances include Beethoven sonatas (“bracing, virile interpretations [that] sound as fresh and modern today as they must have 60-plus years ago – ClassicsToday.com), extensive Chopin and Liszt selections, as well as concertos by Schumann, Rachmaninoff (the First and Third), Liszt (Totentanz) and Strauss (Burleske) with the Chicago and Boston Symphony orchestras under Fritz Reiner and Charles Munch, all played with “steel-edged articulation, nervous energy, and gauntly singing lines” (ClassicsToday.com).

Contents:

Disc 1:

Robert Schumann, Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Franz Liszt, Totentanz, S. 126

Richard Strauss, Burleske in D minor

Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Fritz Reiner (conductor)

Disc 2:

Sergei Rachmaninoff, Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp minor, Op. 1

Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Fritz Reiner (conductor)

Sergei Rachmaninoff, Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30

Boston Symphony Orchestra, Charles Munch (conductor)

Disc 3:

Modest Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition

Franz Liszt, Paraphrase de concert sur Rigoletto, S. 434

Franz Liszt, Liebestraum No. 3, S. 541

Franz Liszt, Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6, S. 244/6

Adolf Schulz-Evler, Concert Arabesques on Themes by Johann Strauss The Beautiful Blue Danube

George Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue

Hugo Winterhalter and his Orchestra

Disc 4:

Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Sonata No. 17 in D minor, Op. 31, No. 2, "The Tempest"

Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Sonata No. 21 in C Major, Op. 53, "Waldstein"

Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op. 109

Franz Schubert, Impromptu in E-flat Major, D. 899

Johannes Brahms, Waltzes Op. 39, Nos. 1, 2, 6 & 15

Disc 5:

Frederic Chopin, Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 35, "Funeral March"

Frederic Chopin, Impromptu No. 1, Op. 29

Frederic Chopin, "Black Keys" Etude, Op. 10, No. 5

Frederic Chopin, Mazurka in A minor, Op. 17

Frederic Chopin, Scherzo No. 3 in C-sharp minor, Op. 39

Frederic Chopin, Grande Valse brillante in A minor

Frederic Chopin, Waltz in E minor, B. 56

Frederic Chopin, Ballade No. 1, Op. 23

Frederic Chopin, Etude in F Major

Byron Janis (piano)