Sergio Fiorentino ~ Hamburg Pro Musica / George Hurst - Tchaikovsky. Piano Concerto 1 - Saga 1959

Peter Tchaikovsky:  Piano Concerto no.1 in B flat minor, op.23.  
I:  Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso - Allegro con spirito  
IIAndantino semplice - Prestissimo - Andantino  ~  IIIAllegro con fuoco
2 files zip FLAC Mega Download 
Sergio Fiorentino, piano  - Hamburg Pro Musica (NDR SO, Hamburg)   conducted by  George Hurst   
Saga Films  AAA-ST 4003   STEREO      c.1959 pressing / PYE matrices:  A-1 / B-2    Recorded: 18 May 1959 - Musikhalle, Hamburg
May 2013:  'auto de-clicked' files.  This process does slightly impair clarity/'attack' - even at my near-minimum settings... (but...14,212 'clicks' removed...)  
SAGA history @garthbanks.blogspot    Label scan >>>


  1. Gosh - remember this release when it originally surfaced!

    I did not purchase it then - couldn't afford even this on my meagre pocket money.

    Most of my original purchases were of Fidelio, Summit and such from the Kensall Road stable in London - purchased mail order from Headquarters and General Supplies and they came in blank sleeves - 10 shillings each.

    My first purchase of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto was from a second hand shop of another Saga Recording with Paul Serebriakov (sp?) and the Leningrad Philharmonic.

    Thanks for taking me down memory lane.

    I wonder what you have done with the transcription? Saga always came with bad pressings.

    Keep up the excellent work.

    Kind regards,

    Douglas (UK)

  2. This is PYE mastered (& pressed, I think..though the LP needed quite some editing)...and the sound is pretty good.

    I'm not certain about this 'AAA' series: it seems to date before Saga went bust - so late 1959-ish & maybe it was full-price: though it's odd that the STM series# is also quoted on the side 1 matrix - that has some Chopin as a side 2 'filler' (1961 Gramophone reviewed).
    This could be the same performance as the one you quote!
    Label scan added..

  3. Who needs a madeleine dipped in limeflower tea? - this has opened Memory Lane for me. I started collecting in the early 60s as a schoolboy, so Saga prices were just right. I avoided the pseudonymous labels, and I knew these were 'real' musicians. I could hardly be more grateful - unless you happen to have Hurst's recording of Tchaik 5!
    The far from Anonymous Andrew Smith, Eastbourne.

  4. Never seen a copy of XID 5046 (reviewed Jan.1960 in Gramophone) - probably due to SAGA rarely appearing in 'serious' collections (!!!).
    Bought one - as a schoolboy: Scheherezade/Rakhlin (I think - later 5012 'stereo'): returned it to The Army & Navy Stores (Victoria St) - where the staff described Saga's as 'floor-sweepings' - replacing it with Solomon's Beethoven PC1 & 2 on MfP (now know the ASD/BLP were superior: some Solomon coming-up elsewhere..).
    If Fiorentino also recorded Beethoven's 3rd - then it may be the performance I have on Fidelity FDY 2043 as 'Paul Procopolis' - Leipzig/Johann Walde: who knows with Saga/Barrington-Coupe!!

    1. Yes, Paul Procopolis was the name hidden for Fiorentino.....he (Fiorentino) was actually the performer. Check also the Lumpe website for Fiorentino recordings.
      Giuseppe (Naples, Italy....I knew Fiorentino in person for many years. I miss him....)

    2. Anonymous23 May, 2013

      I have a copy of that Tchaikovksy Lp together with other Saga recordings which Hurst has made. I am ready to give these away for free. Just send me your mailing address.

      Ernst Lumpe, Soest/Germany mail to elumpe@gmx.de

    3. Hello Ernst,

      Thank you very much for the kind offer - but as I already have this (plus the stereo AAA Beethoven PC5) and some of the Delta (+ Revolution LP's: RCB.10/23: CBS/RCA pressed) then there is, probably, someone 'better' who could use any 'spare' copies - and I don't really have plans to add to the Fiorentino (unless there is something 'not on CD' - possibly from the Revolurion LP's?) - though having recently uploaded a 'Procopolis' Beethoven PC3 from 'Fidelity' there may be a chance that FDY 2050: 'World's Best Loved Piano Music') could contain a Fiorentino track, or two(?).

      From memory, I think you did a transfer of this Tchaikovsky (I would probably now use some 'de-click' for this 'noisy' PYE pressing); so another factor, for me, is that Fiorentino's LP pressings would mostly be a penance to edit - even more so the Saga's!!

  5. Wow! 1959? Really?? From the conversation above I was not surprised by the few little pops and crackles still remaining but I WAS surprised by how clean & fresh it sounds - a magnificent job both by the original recording team & (no doubt) in the cleaning-up process! The sound leaps off the turntable (well, off the iPod anyway), wonderful wide stereo with all the little instrumental solos coming out very clear & crystalline, like the piano sound. It may not be the 'best' version of the Tchaikovsky (I wonder what is?!), but it's certainly virtuoisic, enjoyable, and frankly romantic. I love it!

    1. It was one of those 'sooo masochistic: why am I doing this' transfers.

      I think it's now on CD (?) but Side 1 of the LP did sound pretty clean/sparkling - though, in those days, level mismatches (or even different masterings..) between sides were not unheard-of.
      However, one of the 'Delta' Liszt recital LP's has to be heard-to-be-believed: Very odd piano sound..

      I might reupload this 'having a listen' to all the remaining little pops and suchlike (of which there were vastly many inherent in the pressing) and attempt anew to eradicate a further % !

  6. Can You re-up these files please?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Thought this had now made an appearance on CD - possibly an LP dub?

      TBH - am about to close-down rather than 're-up'...and don't really fancy manually re-editing this one.
      Will give it a listen tomorrow - possibly apply some minor de-click if it doesn't wreck this (fairly decent) 1959 transfer.

  7. Many thanks for reuploading this, too.

    1. May 2013..Auto de-clicked files added; possibly the best option for listening to this recording/LP....

    2. Didn't notice this before - will give it a try, as Fiorentino's playing is very dynamic (without becoming 'romantic'), but here the 'clicks' are starting to be obtrusive.

  8. Since no one else has given a report on the new files: not having heard the originals, i'm sure i wouldn't think anything wrong with the de-clicked version, but comparing the two the sound is undeniably better in the old ones. Interesting example, though, and thanks for the choise - and i'm sure many people will prefer the de-clicked.

    1. "Many People" are possibly those who believe 'noise-reduction'/de-clicking (as practiced - sic - by Mr Rose, et al), has no deleterious effect; however I no longer retain the original files- and had considered removing this post as the pressing-quality is inherently below-par (or impossible to manually edit) - but this may be the best-sounding LP transfer from Saga.

    2. Right, the performance however is splendid.

      i know you're 'on break' from doing anything, but just out of curiosity, do you happen to have any other LP's with Fritz Kreisler? i sampled a CD-release with him playing his own works, and the sound was truly awful, so i'm assuming it's very difficult to find anything by him in decent sound.

    3. ...'waiting for some (more) spare-parts'..

      Don't think there were too many Kreisler 78 dubbings on LP:

      Have RCA VIC 6059 (1973) with Rachmaninov.. Beethoven. Sonata 8/ Grieg. Sonata 3 / Schubert. Sonarta 5 - all recorded 1928...vivid sound.

      There may be a double-album on HMV Treasury - but I'm not paying Madcap eBay sellers prices..

      Have the Beethoven 'Kreutzer' (+ one more) in an HMV 78 album (also Isolde Menges/Thibaud's 78 versions..)

    4. Thanks for the reply - very nice!

      (And think i'll 'celebrate' my new cartridge/needle by buying a Kreisler LP from Ebay, as some are actually affordable..)