Lev Oborin, a highly respected and much admired Russian pianist of the Soviet era performs with the Czech Radio Symphony conducted by Alois Klima in this historic concert from the 1961 Prague Spring Festival.
Oborin plays the Prokofiev 3rd Piano Concerto, after the Czech Radio Symphony open the concert with Overture op. 14 by Jaroslav Ridky. After the Prokofiev, the Czech Radio Symphony is joined by bass Zdenek Kroupa and the Czech Radio Symphony Choir in a performance of the Oratorio after a Poem of Mayakovsky by Georgy Sviridov.
Sviridov, who is barely known in the West, was a very popular composer during the Soviet era and like Oborin, very much admired by colleagues. The Oratario won the Lenin Prize in 1960. Sviridov died in 1998, leaving a large body of works.
Lev Oborin, aside from being highly respected and a pianist to whom many works were dedicated to him, was also a noted teacher in Russia. His most famous pupil was Vladimir Ashkenazy.
Like Sviridov, he was largely unknown in the West, until his lifelong collaborations with violinist David Oistrakh and cellist Sviataslav Knushevistky made their ways into record collections around the world via Melodiya during the 1950s. The Oistrakh/Oborin recordings issued by Philips of the Beethoven Violin Sonatas in the 1960s have been regarded as some of the greatest performances of those pieces.
So this is a very rare concert from the Prague Spring Festival of 1961, one which I am not sure has ever been issued in any form.
The sound is mono, as was customary with these recordings until a little while later when stereo broadcasting became commonplace. There is a tape break at the announcement of the Sviridov piece, but the concert is complete and the performances go without saying.
Needless to say, enjoy this one.