About one thing there should be no debate. Rodriguez's performance of the cadenza of the Rachmaninoff 3rd Concerto is the cleanest, most accurate, and most effortless at this tempo available on disc. Among the many recordings of this concerto in my collection are those of Rachmaninoff, Anievas, Horowitz, Wild, Hough, Ashkenasy, Argerich, Gieseking, Volodos and Cliburn, but of those who attempt to play this cadenza at a quick tempo and without substantially stretching the beat, none comes anywhere near Rodriguez. With that said, and granting the flawless technique of this pianist, there are elements of this performance that make it less than ideal for me. I find the statement of the opening theme both too fast, too matter of fact, and devoid of expression. The adoption of the faster tempo for this theme obviates the need for several tempo adjustments as the work moves from one section to another, but in so doing, loses some essential expressive elements in movement one. Once again, in movement three, things are so easy for Rodriguez that the tempo is a shade too fast. If ever a piece needed to be performed in the "grand manner" it is this great work. To toss it off diminishes both the stature of the work and the performance. After studying three Rachmaninoff recordings of this artist, he seems to vacillate between a classical approach to this literature and a romantic approach to it. A perfect example is the performance of the "Elegie," the first of the five fantasy pieces. Here, he perfectly captures the unique romanticism that Rachmaninoff requires, and immediately forgets it in the famous chestnut, "Prelude in C Sharp Minor."
The remainder of the disc includes five preludes which are played impressively. The concerto, the magnum opus on this disc, fares well when compared to others on record but does not approach the musical heights of the Volodos/Levine/Berlin Philharmonic album.