Wednesday, August 14, 2013

John Ogdon in 1984–an historic recording

On 20th November 1984 I went to the MacRobert Centre Stirling to attend a concert at which the great British pianist John Ogdon was playing Rachmaninov's 3rd Piano Concerto. The Orchestra was the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Jerzy Maksymiuk. The venue is quite small and my seat was quite close to the stage and therefore to Ogdon. J.O. at piano

When he came onto the stage I was slightly shocked. I knew him as a sublimely talented artist but when this huge untidy shambling man appeared it seemed incongruous and unlikely. In particular I noticed his huge hands! How could those massive fingers navigate the keyboard for this at times very fast and intricate piece? I need not have worried!

As soon as Ogdon sat down, after rather a lot of fiddling with the piano stool, and Maksymiuk started Ogdon was transported into another world. The sounds that came from his piano were truly magical. At the time I did not know this Concerto well but its extraordinarily depth, melodic journey and contrasts imprinted themselves on my brain and today it is probably my favourite Concerto - thanks largely to that great introduction by John Ogdon.

The performance was broadcast live and I had set my cassette recorder to tape it whilst I was at the concert. I still have the cassette and have now digitised it and posted it for download here! It is not really top quality but you will get a feel for the excitement of the performance.


Blogger Neil said...

This is fantastic! Any change you can record as a flac ?

6:05 AM  

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