Shura Cherkassky in Concert, 1971

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Shura Cherkassky was one of the 20th century’s finest pianists. In this previously unheard live recording, we hear him at the height of his powers delivering a stunning live performance. This is a substantial recital including 3 sonatas and 4 encore pieces; the concert lasts over 82 minutes. The Liszt Sonata, for instance, is a remarkable rendition, like no other, in which he plays with an overwhelmingly ferocious drama, glorious, sonorous tone, and an extraordinarily accurate technique.

This recording from 2 June 1971 was remastered using a tape recording found in Cherkassky’s own personal music archive.

This is the first publication of the concert.

MOZARTSonata No. 8, in A minor, K310
LISZTSonata in B minor, S178
GRIEGSonata in E minor, Op. 7
MANA-ZUCCABurleske, Op. 261
PABSTConcert Paraphrase on Themes from ‘Eugene Onegin’ by P. Tchaikovsky, Op. 81
SCRIABINEtude in C sharp minor, Op. 1, No. 2
STRAVINSKYDanse Russe from ‘Petruschka’

Remastered using a tape recording found in Cherkassky”s own personal archive

Recording  date: 2 June 1971
Recording venue: unknown
Produced by FHR
Remastered & Edited at K&A Productions Ltd. By Debs Spanton, in 2012
Liner notes: Jonathan Summers
Digital release date: mid-March 2013
Physical release date: Spring 2013
Total duration: 1 hrs 22 mins 19 secs

Press Quotes

“Any collectors wanting to discover why he was such an admired pianist need look no further: I’ve never heard a more engrossing Cherkassky performance than this….a phenomenal experience – and very warmly recommended” (International Record Review)

“…this account [Liszt Sonata] is completely and utterly engrossing from start to finish… [his] unmistakable personal sound, searing melancholy, fabulous dexterity, spontaneity, impish delight and an original musical mind. Above all, like the whole recital, it is as entertaining as it is compelling. Of how many can you say that today?” (Gramophone Magazine)

“Spontaneity in spades…thrilling to listen to…tremendously exciting…a splendid live recording” (BBC Radio 3 CD Review)

“…this is an important release, because of the repertoire and the great pianism it captures” (Classical Source)

“The towering Liszt Sonata receives a blazing, impetuous performance, as much in the Horowitz or Earl Wild tradition as we could demand for sheer virtuosity, but no less invested with improvised personal quirks and lyrical asides of haunted power” (Audiophile Audition *****)