Van Cliburn in Moscow, Vol. 1 (VAI). The long, barren years of Van Cliburn’s retirement from the concert hall have largely blotted out the memory of the young virtuoso who stunned the world by winning the 1958 Tchaikovsky Competition at the height of the Cold War. Few people under the age of fifty know that he was–for a time–one of the finest pianists of the twentieth century. This disc, the first of five drawn from Russian videotapes of concerts given by Cliburn in his prime years, contains 1962 performances of Tchaikovsky’s First Concerto and Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto accompanied by Kiril Kondrashin and the Moscow Philharmonic, plus two encores, Chopin’s F Minor Fantasie and the Liszt Twelfth Hungarian Rhapsody, a Cliburn warhorse that the pianist never got around to recording commercially. All are played with the expansive yet firmly disciplined romanticism that can also be heard on his best studio recordings. An unforgettable document of a great artist who lost his way in mid-career and spent the rest of his life wandering in the wilderness of celebrity (TT).