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Available on July 21, 2017:
An Important, Historic CD Release
On May 29, 1941, a twenty-four-year-old Moura Lympany walked into the Decca studios at Brockhurst Gardens in West Hampstead, greater London, to record Rachmaninoff's famous Prelude in C-sharp minor. She remained that day to record eight additional Preludes from Rachmaninoff's opus 23, and fifteen months later she became the first pianist in history to have recorded the composer's complete set of 24. She was then studying with Tobias Matthay, who coached her extensively on all of her repertoire, and after Matthay's death in 1945, she recorded the complete Preludes twice more. She returned to the Decca studios in January 1951 to record them in the new LP format, and over 40 years later, in April 1993, the now Dame Moura Lympany recorded them as CDs for the Erato label. To the present day, she remains the only pianist to have recorded the complete set in each of the three main commercial formats, but although the 1951 LPs have long been available as CDs, this month marks the first occasion that these historic 78s, recorded during the darkest days of World War II, have been made accessible to modern listeners.
Issued on Decca's Eloquence Classics label, the transfers in this set are superb, and the recording is accompanied by a beautiful twelve-page booklet containing fascinating and previously unpublished photos provided by the Estate of Moura Lympany, such as the one at right taken on August 8, 1929, as the twelve-year-old artist was about to make her debut with the Mendelssohn G minor Concerto in Harrogate, Yorkshire. The commentary is by Matthay scholar and former AMAP president
. The CD is now available in the US through
and other vendors and it will be available in Europe and elsewhere by August 2017.
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