Posted by Bob Sherman, September 2014
This updated newsletter has been a long time coming, because I was a long time waiting to be
able to tell you, without fear of contradiction, about the latest CD release. It's kind of a
long story, but even before I get to the abridged version, a hot flash:
Posted by Bob Sherman, 9/6/2014
After Earl's death in 2010, though, Michael found himself involved with other projects, and by the beginning of this year, both albums were difficult to find, if not fully out of print. With Michael's generous permission, the Nadia Reisenberg / Clara Rockmore Foundation has decided to re-master and re-issue the Russian set on Romeo Records in this, the 110th anniversary of the pianist's birth. If funds become available, the Haydn will follow later.
This, however, was not just a matter of copying the Ivory CDs. I don't have to tell you that the performances were superb, but taking advantage of technological progress over the past decade, engineer Seth Winner was engaged to go back to the original master tapes and evolve from them the most natural sonics possible. We also discovered that by inverting the order of performances, we had room to add two Rachmaninoff miniatures that hadn't fit on the earlier album: the Romance in F Minor, Op. 10 #6, and Polichinelle, Op. 3 #4.
A number of intriguing visuals have been added to the liner notes (including letters to Nadia from Paderewski and Glazunov, and photos taken in both Vilnius and St. Petersburg by (Nadia's grandson) Steve J. Sherman. If all goes well, the 2-CD set will be available early next month.
From Dave Saemann:
"Nadia Reisenberg was one of the great Chopin pianists of the 20th century. Her Barcarolle
has a wonderful flexibility in mood and tempo, with an ebb and flow as the emotion builds. In the
Berceuse, there is a tremendous feeling of fantasy, with kaleidoscopic colors."
"Reisenberg's live 1947 Carnegie Hall Third Sonata is a major statement of the work.
... Her Scherzo is gossamer; the Largo has a hushed intensity and achieves profundity with
an apparent absence of effort; Reisenberg's Finale is filled with pianistic fireworks.
The performance is primal in its conception."
From David DeBoor Canfield:
"This performance (of the Mendelssohn D Minor Trio with the Juilliard Quartet's
Earl Carlyss and Joel Krosnick) belies its being a live performance. I've never hear a commercial
recording that has surpassed the result that I hear here, and few that match it in passion and
flawless execution. ... "Sonics throughout the live pieces are very aurally and musically satisfying."
"The disc is filled out with three exquisite miiatures from Rachmaninoff's Opus 10,
to which Reisenberg brings a most sensitive touch and inquisitive probing."
From Radu A. Lelutiu
"Reisenberg impresses (in three Rachmaninoff pieces) with her bel canto tone,
expert pedaling, and control of phrasing. The term 'golden tone' is oftentimes thrown around by
music critics, but if you are curious to hear what it really means, give Reisenberg a listen.
Her virtuosity, power of projection, and concentration result in a performance that ought to be
heard by everyone."
"No matter where you start listening, I is certain that you will be enchanted by what you hear."
From Paul Orgel
"In each of the 1977 program's sonatas (Brahms, Strauss and Beethoven, with violinist Erick Friedman),
Reisenberg is thorough 'inside' the music, and her sensitive playing helps to fashion performances
of considerable nuance and interpretive variety ... she meets the technical challenges of three
difficult piano parts with aplomb."
"Reisenberg is particularly eloquent in the (Strauss Sonata) second movement's
perfumed atmosphere, tossing off its glittering arabesques with ease ... In the Kreutzer Sonata,
Reisenberg's astute realizations of Beethoven's markings in the second movement's opening set the
tone for a subtle, poised rendition ... the final Presto gains cumulative excitement from
the notably clean and precise playing from both performers."
"As an affectionate tribute to Reisenberg's unpretentious artistry, and a showcase for
the ravishing playing of Erick Friedman, this release serves as a valuable memento of a collaboration
that properly treats violin sonatas as chamber music."
From Peter J. Rabinowitz
"This (NR's 1947 Carnegie Hall appearance) is a sensational recital. It's hard to believe
that the pianist who so lovingly caresses the languorously curving phrases of Scriabin's P[is 42/2
is the same one whose sharp accentuation and brilliant articulation so strikingly bring out the
rhythmic crosscurrents of he first of Barber's Excursions."
"When this set was first released a few years ago, Boy Pomeroy, in a detailed review,
waxed enthusiastic over her 'prodigious versatility in the widest-ranging repertoire' and I think
that phrase sums it up well."
And from Lynn René Bayley
"Every so often I'm asked to review an artist whose work is so good that I consider
it an honor. Nadia Reisenberg is one such; my exposure to her, via the 20CD on Roméo 7293/94 was
so overwhelming, both intellectually and emotionally, that I found myself mesmerized by her playing."
"These are certainly the mot achingly beautiful and deeply moving performances
(of the Chopin Nocturnes) I've ever heard... I was in tears just listening to them. They're
"And now we turn to the disc by Nadia' sister, Clara Rockmore, her junior by seven
years. Her playing is remarkable for its exquisite lyricism and elegance, making the theremin
sound like a soprano singing without words. Rockmore's exceptional phrasing and musical sensitivity
take ones breath away."
"Gaspar Cassado's fine Requiebros is astonishing, a fairy rapid piece played
with superb virtuosity by Rockmore ... Ravel's Kaddish is given a surprisingly deep, emotional
reading ... ad Richard Heuberg's Midnight Bells -- arranged by Fritz Kriesler -- gives you
double the schmaltz for the money."
For much more information about the theremin and its inventor (Leon Theremin), and details of so many of Bob Moog's scientific innovations, check out the website at