The Incomparable Rudolf Serkin

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The Incomparable Rudolf Serkin
Rudolf Serkin (piano) with Mstislav Rostropovitch (cello) Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Claudio Abbado

[ Deutsche Grammophon / 2 CD ]

Release Date: Tuesday 15 April 2003

Rudolf Serkin (1902-1991), one of the great masterpianists of the 20th century, would have celebrated his 100th birthday on 27 March 2003. To celebrate this occasion DG have put together a beautiful twofer containing some of his most memorable recordings for Deutsche Grammophon.

The album is called "The incomparable Rudolf Serkin" because Serkin did offer something unique in his art: a seriousness and profundity of approach. As one writer put it, he is a "paragon among pianists of the mid-20th century".

CD 1 presents Serkin's mature thoughts on the last three Beethoven Sonatas, opp. 109, 110 and 111 - a CD that is currently unavailable. Grand performances of deeply moving works.

CD 2 displays his gifts as a concert pianist and accompanist, in marvellous collaboration with two premier DGG artists. First, the best-recommended version of the Brahms E minor Cello Sonata with Rostropovich. This is followed by one of the highlights of the well-known Mozart Piano Concertos series with Claudio Abbado, K. 451 in D major, a magically beguiling performance.

There are plenty of photos of the artist and his artistic collaborators in the booklet and packaging, and there is a newly commissioned article by expert Jeremy Siepmann (see Insights) on this incomparable artist, plus Rudolf Serkin's current DGG discography.


Piano Sonata No. 30 in E, Op. 109
Piano Sonata No. 31 in A flat, Op. 110
Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111

Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 1 in E minor, Op. 38

Piano Concerto No. 16 in D, K.451