A short but historic concert this week – the legendary Amsterdam Concertgebouw, conducted by Kirill Kondrashin with Dutch pianist Jan Wijn in a performance of the Mozart “Haffner” Symphony and Richard Strauss’ Burleske for Piano and Orchestra.
This was a 1977 rebroadcast of a concert originally given on November 29, 1972.
Kirill Kondrashin was a notable and widely respected Soviet Conductor – he first came to international prominence via his recording of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concert Number 1 with International Tchaikovsky Competition winner Van Cliburn in 1958 for RCA Victor. It would be the first Classical Music recording to win a Platinum award for selling well over a million copies when it came out. It not only established Van Cliburn as one of the bright lights of the concert stage, it also established Kirill Kondrashin as a potent force on the podium.
Kondrashin would record semi-regularly for RCA Victor and several other labels as well as visit and guest conduct several orchestras outside the Soviet Union. Eventually, he would defect and settle in Amsterdam where he became Permanent Guest Conductor of the Concertgebouw in 1978 – a position he held, along with a collaboration with the Vienna Philharmonic which ended with his death in 1981. His recorded legacy has been available in reissue, almost in its entirety since his initial recordings in the late 1940s for Melodyia in Russia.
So, the concert comes in a little under 45 minutes – sadly, the other piece from this concert, Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe wasn’t included in this re-broadcast. But it’s made the rounds in collectors circles, as has this one. No matter the length, it’s perfect Anti-Road Rage Wednesday music – something perfect to kick back, knowing the rest of the week is downhill from here.