The very short viola in my life

An email from a listener prompted me to listen again to ECM’s CD of Morton Feldman’s The Viola in My Life. While the disc was playing my attention was diverted elsewhere, and when I returned I found the music had finished. At first I thought I had miscued the disc, then I remembered that the ECM CD plays for just 39 minutes 39 seconds. Is this the shortest full price classical CD ever released?

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Pliable said…
Is this the shortest full price classical CD ever released? - it appears not. A 2001 Philips disc of Rachmaninov's Third Piano Concerto coupled with his Suite No 2 for Two Pianos played for 37' 23".

Can anyone better 37' 23"?
mahlerman said…
That must be the Argerich/Chailly? Yes, she rips along but surely the concerto alone takes more time than this even at a clip? The most interesting timing I have is zero - on a Melodia LP of Shostakovitch 11. The fourth side of four was blank!
Pliable said…
MM, you are, of course, quite right about the timing of the Rachmaninov Third Piano Concerto - my careless mistake.

The wording of the review that I linked too is particularly opaque. Reading it again I deduce that the 37' 23" CD referred to was an early 80s release of the Rachmaninov Suites Nos 1 & 2 for Two Pianos played by Nelson Friere, which would be right for 37 minutes if taken quickly.

So 37' 23" stands, even if I had the programme on the discs wrong.
Peter Young said…
I can provide a Pergolesi Stabat Mater (Jacobs) on Harmonia Mundi which says 37.20 on the disc (and 37.21 in my player). But the original release of John Adams's On the Transmigration of Souls had no coupling and is 25.04.
Pliable said…
And Angus O'Neill emails:

Somewhere I think I have an early Philips CD of Argerich/Kondrashin playing Tchaikovsky's first piano concerto (and nothing else), live, in under 32 minutes. Can this be right?
ricardo messina said…
Moussorgski's "Tableaux d'une exposition", played by Brigitte Engerer in the 'La Solothèque' series from Harmonia Mundi, published in 1997, plays for 31 minutes 34 seconds.
ricardo messina said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pliable said…
Tom Hogan emails -

'And more music of John Adams coming in at a minimalist 32:17:
Harmonium, Edo de Waart and SFSO, ECM, 1984.'

Tom, you are right, and I am embarrassed - that CD is in my collection!
Anonymous said…
I'm a little late here, but why not.

The BSO/Levine live performance of Peter Lieberson's Neruda Songs sung by Lorraine Hunt Lieberson on Nonesuch appears to sell for full price. ArkivMusic clocks it's length as 31:51.

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