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Karajan and Richter in Tchaikovsky

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in Deutsche Grammophon Records

Karajan and Richter recorded Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 for DG in 1962. It is a well known recording which is not regarded as one of the best (personally I like it a lot despite some shortcomings). However the full-blooded sound and the personality of the performers carry the day...

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There are two originals of this classic recording which was issued on DGG SPLM 138822. The red stereo version, which is the first version of the big tulip, and, what I call, black stereo version, which is the same version directed to export to the United States; this is why the phrase “direct import” appear on the top left of the front cover...

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The “black label” also offers a deluxe thick textured jacket and more “artistic” photos of the two giants, their figures emerging out of a bluish light.

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Both versions offer the best of this DG recording, however for the LP collector, first place must be given to the red stereo version, where the sound has more impact, more depth, better separation of instruments, more projection and better piano timbres...

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Although the base volume is slightly higher on the black version, the base is better delineated on the red stereo label, which remains for the collector the best choice for this recording in terms of sound and collectability. Excellent sound for DG standards, especially the recording of the piano.

DGG SPLM 138822 (red stereo, black stereo, 1962).

by Epaminondas Tsandis

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