Afternoon Classical playlist for 02/28/2013

Stephan S. Dalal
Artist Title Album Label Link
Van Cliburn Piano Concerto no.3 in D minor | Reiner/Chicago Symphony The World's Favorite Concertos S. Rachmaninoff
Van Cliburn Piano Concerto no. 1 in E minor | E. Ormandy/Philadelphia Orchestra Van Cliburn The Philadelphia Orchestra and Eugene Ormandy F. Chopin
Van Cliburn Piano Sonata in B minor Cliburn Plays Liszt F. Liszt
Van Cliburn Piano Concerto no. 1 in B-flat minor | Kyrill Kondrashin/Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra Final Round of Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition P. I. Tchaikovsky

Toady, we honor the legendary life and performances of the now late Van Cliburn. The title of legendary is no more fitting for a man from a small town in Texas, who boarded a plane to Moscow in 1958 at the height of a war that was indeed cold and returned victorious as our American Hero, not only outperforming the competition in Moscow but giving the Soviets a thrashing they would soon not forget. In all his might and stardom, Cliburn was a humble man, demonstrating his statuesque character and fortuitousness human spirit, giving up performances all together in the late 70's to take care of his ailing mother. Although I never met Van Cliburn in person, I listened to his Moscow performance countless times as a child, walking back a forth from our record player to the fireplace hearth where his music would forever inspire me. When I was seven I distinctly remember wanting to be like Van Cliburn. He inspired me to learn to play the piano, a gift I keep sacred today as an adult. My story is not unique. In one way or another Van Cliburn met me. Our paths crossing throughout the course of my life through our love of music, although physically never converged. I'll always remember my father gently placing the RCA red-seal recording of Cliburn's Moscow performance onto our record player. His gestures as he adjusted the volume; one of admiration for a man he too had never met, but somehow also knew. Van Cliburn was a rock star, and a celebrity with all the merit to follow. But, first and foremost he was a human being who loved music and changing the world.