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Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3 / Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 3

Mikhail Pletnev Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £8.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 Mar 2013)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B00008GQTP
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 81,075 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor, Op.30 - 1. Allegro ma non tantoMikhail Pletnev17:20£2.29  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor, Op.30 - 2. Intermezzo (Adagio)Mikhail Pletnev10:58£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor, Op.30 - 3. Finale (Alla breve)Mikhail Pletnev13:24£1.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No.3 in C, Op.26 - 1. Andante - AllegroMikhail Pletnev 9:53£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No.3 in C, Op.26 - 2. Tema con variazioneMikhail Pletnev 8:54£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No.3 in C, Op.26 - 3. Allegro ma non troppoMikhail Pletnev10:25£1.49  Buy MP3 

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Shoot the Pianist 21 April 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
The responsibility for this recording of the two most popular 20th-century Russian piano concertos rests primarily upon the slender, but capable, shoulders of Pletnev. While a great musician, Rostropovich has never been a genuinely reliable conductor, particularly when accompanying a soloist. The engineers have handled that problem by reducing the orchestraÕs sonic profile whenever Pletnev is playing. The result sounds like many Itzhak Perlman concerto recordings: the listenerÕs attention is riveted upon the soloist, while the orchestral contribution is reduced to something resembling agreeable background music. Fortunately, Pletnev is worth attention. He plays both concertos with facility, elegance and sensitivity. His urbane and witty reading of the Prokofiev Third is particularly successful; one suspects that the composer would have loved it. That the Rachmaninov is less successful is partly explained by PletnevÕs decision to play the longer and more massive of the composerÕs two alternate cadenzas for the first movement. PletnevÕs sleek style and silky sound would have been better suited to the shorter, swifter one; they do not really satisfy the alternateÕs demand for bone-crushing sonority. Elsewhere in the piece, some listeners will wish for a more openhearted approach to RachmaninovÕs lush themes. But PletnevÕs somewhat coy and detached attitude toward the score, as well as his always elegant playing, should captivate almost anyone who values great piano playing.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars mixed bag 23 May 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
There is never any doubt re Pletnev's fabulous playing per se technically but I find it a bit lightweight in the Rachmaninov-it's all very classically correct but lacks the overwhelming romanticism and heart stirring that I would expect in this of all concerti.The Prokofiev benefits from that aforementioned technical command but even so I want something more stirring.Rostropovich provides apposite accompaniments but even he can't make these performances the experience on e would ideally invisage. So a mixed bag for me.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mixing common conceptions 20 Mar 2003
By Alex Serrano - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Deutsche Gramophone has paired two of today's top performers for aruguably the most difficult piano concertos commonly performed. Both Pletnev - the pianist, and Rostropovich - the cellist, alternate constantly as conductors so it is only fitting that they bring a distinct symphonic approach to these works. The results are mixed yet always exhilarating
Rachmaninov wrote his 3rd piano concerto as a virtuoso piece with which he hoped to conquer mostly American audiences - off course, as with any work of his this is not a mere showpiece for the pianist but is also brilliantly orchestrated and beautifuly annotated. But, there is no doubt that the music works around the piano soloist. So - Pletnev and Rostropovich give more than usual consideration to the orchestra and at parts the piano merely becomes another instrument rather than the soloist - added to Pletnev's light tone, this is a performance where honors and demeanors are shared by soloist, conductor, and orchestra. Many passages come off beautifuly while in others you just cant help yourself from wishing a more extrovert piano performance. Played in this manner, the rachmaninov 3rd piano concerto is transformed into a symphony with a piano part. At times this is fascinating, and then also frustrating. This is not an average performance.
This approach works much better in the Prokofiev. Here for once, both the orchestra and the piano part seem to lose their traditional motoric and percussive nature and instead we are presented with an emotionaly charged yet subtle performance where the understanding between the performers is always apparent. Also - result of this approach is that for once, Prokofiev's 3rd piano concerto is portrayed as full of drama, anguish, and finaly - triumph. The symphonic approach here allows for this concerto for once to not become episodic - rather, all the parts and variations seem to be integrated and eveolve logicaly. Pletnev's tone and technique is in top form throughout the whole disc, but in the prokofiev it becomes simply amazing. It is not a matter of just speed and power, rather than submission to a musical idea that seems to work perfectly.
Overall, this is a disc no serious collector should do without - its a doccument of 2 very serious musicians at the top of their form presenting music in a manner which is both fresh and respectfull of the music. This approach may not always please those who have preconceived notions of how these works should be played, but there is no denying that it is presented in an honest, professional, and inspired manner.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Freshly Imagined Music-Making 18 April 2003
By T. Beers - Published on
Format:Audio CD
This really is a superb disc. I haven't listened to the Rachmaninoff Third with pleasure for quite some time now, most performances striking me as just banging out the notes. Rostropovich and Pletnev offer a brand-new take on this magnificent piece, one that explores orchestral textures and the interplay of piano and orchestra in really subtle ways. I can understand how some people might be put off by this (relatively) low-pressure approach, but to my ears the piece positively comes alive with sounds I'd never suspected. Rachmaninoff debuted this concerto in New York in late 1909, first with the New York Symphony under Walter Damrosch, then a few weeks later with the New York Philharmonic under Gustav Mahler. Decades later, Rachmaninoff still vividly remembered that second performance, detailing to his biographer about how carefully and completely Mahler rehearsed the music, insisting that the orchestra not be treated as mere accompaniment but as a full partner. That's how Rostropovich's work on the podium strikes me here and that's high praise indeed!

Pletnev is simply incomparable, every phrase is freshly imagined and shot-through with surprising insights .... not to speak of the man's staggering virtuosity. But Pletnev's virtuosity that never provides just empty display. Wow! And the same kind of imaginative, out-of-the-box thinking gets applied to the Prokofieff concerto as well. Rostropovich and Pletnev zoom in on all of the hard-edged, fantastic elements of the score, but subtly and not in any way I've ever experienced before. If the piece thereby loses some of its usual muscle, it gains an incredible variety of color. But, don't misunderstand me, this isn't anachronistic Prokofieff playing: there's no attempt to "tastefully" sanitize or romanticize the music, or turn this into second-hand Rachmaninoff. It's just that Rostropovich and Pletnev have such a light touch that they completely avoid the opposite sin of Prokofieff (mis)interpretation: turning the concerto into steely-fingered "machine music." The orchestral performance is just about perfect. The Russian National Orchestra project a fabulous technicolor sound that still manages to completely avoid sounding cheap or garish. Finally, the recording quality is about as good as you can imagine on a conventional CD. As I said, a really superb disc in every way and one that triumphantly vindicates both concertos as first-rate music, not just flashy display pieces.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pletnev at his Best! 21 May 2005
By Krish Krishnanand - Published on
Format:Audio CD
A few of the reviewers' comments on this CD disappoint me. What we have here is Mikhail Pletnev providing absolutely fresh insights into both the concertos. Add this to the list of Argerich, Rodriguez, Horowitz. A must, must buy!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two warhorses, yes, but Pletnev is an astonishing rider 12 Jan 2008
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Eccentric or genius, Mikhail Pletnev is a keyboard original in an era that sorely lacks them. As every other reviewer mentions, Martha Argerich has already recorded both the Prokofiev and Rachmaninov Third in her unmistakable way -- with electric, impetuous attack taht burns the varnish off two warhorses. Pletnev isn't in the same vein, since he prefers to pull us into his quirky phrasing bar by bar. Being fully equipped with enough technique to whisper and thunder at will in the most difficult passagework, his approach is gripping, but I msut say that Pletnev's not as successful as Argerich in masking the weaknesses of the music when Rachmaninov and Prokofiev lose inspiration and fall back on note-spinning. Argerich's headlong race has a lot to be said for it.

I don't know why certain reviewers claim that Pletnev turns the Prokofiev into a romantic work and the Rachmaninov into a modernist one. True, his touch in the Rachmaninov is lighter and less bangy than the usual frontal assault -- Volodos is equally elegant. Pletnev softens the witty quirkiness of the Prokofiev, but that's not romantic to my ears, just less sharp-edged. Rostropovich misses a lot of opportunities in his easy-going approach to the accompaniment. A truly great reading of either work needs inspired conducting, and we don't get that here.

DG realizes that their soloist is the whole show; they shove the piano in our faces, leaving orchestral detail as almost an afterthought. That's a shame, particulalry in the Prokofiev, with its spiky woodwind writing, but Rostropovich isn't doing anything special on the podium, not when you consider the pairing of Szell andd Graffman, who set off icy fireworks in their dazzling Prokofiev Third.

In all, I was gripped by Pletnev's originality, but the overall impact of this CD wasn't strong enough to get me on my feet cheering.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I am disappointed with this CD 13 Oct 2010
By Hippo - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I used to be a Pletnev fan after listening to a few of his great CDs from Virgin. However, for some reason, since he joined Deutsche Grammophon, I realized I don't like his playing as much as before. Pletnev still has excellent technique. I own about 20 or so of his CDs and 3 DVDs. I have heard quite a lot of Pletnev. In general, the earlier the recording date, the better the performance. The later recordings lack force and forward momentum and unfortunately replacing that with weird phrasing, inappropriate dynamic changes, and focusing on creating certain effects. I read a lot of good reviews of this recording, but I am disappointed after listening to it once. I probably won't listen to it again. The Prokofiev concerto is better than the Rachmaninoff. I'd give Prokofiev 3 stars and Rachmaninoff 2 stars. I strongly recommended the Rachmaninoff #3 recording from Denis Matsuev with Budapest orchestra. If you haven't listened to that recording, give it a try.
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