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Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos No.3 & No.4

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Currently Music director of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Antonio Pappano was born in London of Italian parents. At the age of 13 he moved with his family to the United States, where he continued his studies in piano, composition and conducting. Work as a repetiteur and assistant conductor rapidly led to his ... Read more in Amazon's Antonio Pappano Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos No.3 & No.4 + Rachmaninov Piano Concerto 1 and 2 + Grieg: Lyric Pieces
Price For All Three: £23.50

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Product details

  • Conductor: Antonio Pappano
  • Composer: Sergei Rachmaninov
  • Audio CD (4 Oct 2010)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B003Z0BSU8
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 64,888 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. Piano Concerto No.3 Op.30: I. Allegro Ma Non TantoLeif Ove Andsnes/London Symphony Orchestra/Antonio Pappano16:40Album Only
Listen  2. Piano Concerto No.3 Op.30: II. Intermezzo (Adagio)Leif Ove Andsnes/London Symphony Orchestra/Antonio Pappano11:02Album Only
Listen  3. Piano Concerto No.3 Op.30: III. Finale (Alla Breve)Leif Ove Andsnes/London Symphony Orchestra/Antonio Pappano14:33Album Only
Listen  4. Piano Concerto No.4 Op.40: I. Allegro Vivace (Alla Breve)Leif Ove Andsnes/London Symphony Orchestra/Antonio Pappano 9:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Piano Concerto No.4, Op.40: II. LargoLeif Ove Andsnes/London Symphony Orchestra/Antonio Pappano 6:35£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Piano Concerto No.4 Op.40: III. Allegro VivaceLeif Ove Andsnes/London Symphony Orchestra/Antonio Pappano 8:42£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Internationally acclaimed pianist Leif Ove Andsnes teams up once again with conductor Antonio Pappano on his new recording of Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 3 & 4. They are joined by the London Symphony Orchestra (the first orchestra to record Concerto 3, in 1930).

Andsnes and Pappano's first recorded collaboration was 2004's widely-acclaimed release of Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2, with the Berliner Philharmoniker.

BBC Review

Few pieces in the piano repertoire are as iconic as the Rachmaninov Concertos, and Norwegian Leif Ove Andsnes darn well knows it. Even the manner in which this recording is packaged oozes seriousness and reverence, with Andsnes’ hard face glaring at us from the sleeve and monochrome close-ups of his hands adorning the inlay. Aptly, he has treated the Third and Fourth with due respect for the most part, but there is a delicious mischief to some of it that the composer himself would most definitely have endorsed. This is by no means a po-faced imitation of what has gone before, more an excitable toe-dip into some enjoyable interpretative ideas.

From the very outset, Andsnes cannot wait to let rip. The solemnity of that most famous of opening phrases in the third concerto’s Allegro Ma Non Tanto is almost resignedly hurried out of the way so that he can light the touch paper and travel straight to the heart of the firework – he verily cascades through the passages that immediately follow. Perhaps a subtler contrast would have worked better. As the LSO swells through the romanticism and grandeur of Rachmaninov’s divine accompaniment, Andsnes is always on hand to re-instil cosh-like formality when needed. To say he has the whole by the scruff of the neck would be an understatement, and it has to be a positive.

Things are necessarily different when it comes to the troubled Fourth concerto. Rachmaninov wrote many revisions of the work when it received poor reviews, its jazz influences and tendency to break character sitting uneasily with much of the listening public. Andsnes tackles this interpretative minefield a little more tentatively, which actually results in some stunning, delicate melody work in the languorous second movement and real fire in the finale. He is nothing if not thorough, as well as thoroughly sensitive when it counts.

Both of these works show Andsnes at his most attentive, certainly, making this disc a very entertaining reading. His energy is boundless and sure to get him into trouble at times, but overall the sheer verve is irresistible. Technical challenges are shaken off like rainwater, subtler sections are given the requisite grace and poise, and everything else in between is a joyous blur.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By I. Giles TOP 50 REVIEWER on 29 Nov 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As the heading to this review states, this is Andsnes' favourite concerto recording to date and, having bought several of his recordings all of which are very fine, I would be inclined to agree. Certainly it, and the whole series now achieved, must rank alongside the finest available.

The approach to the third concerto is forward moving and dramatic and in this he is fully supported by Pappano, a conductor who has been responsible for a large number of operatic recordings of drama and whose character and conducting skills seem ideally suited to this approach. Not surprisingly Andsnes opts for the larger of the two cadenzas and in this he is totally able to match Ashkenazy with Previn which is no mean feat. This concerto has the greater sense of spontaneity however and this is clearly apparent in the thrilling build up to the first movement cadenza which ends in a marked final acceleration rather than a pulling back as is so often the case. This is one of many wonderful moments when all is put on the line and carried off with conviction.

The 4th concerto is less of a warhorse in character and includes a myriad of influences including sideways references to the jazzy feel of a Gershwin. This was not so well liked by the initial reviewers who probably felt cheated with the lack of obvious big tune. One wonders what they themselves could have written of musical value. Rachmaninov undertook s number of revisions which reduced and concentrated the work which is what we hear today and on this record. The performance is delivered with the same quality of the third.

EMI have provided a fittingly full recording quality and this is an altogether exceptional disc.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Hogan on 25 Jun 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"Out of all my concerto recordings, I am tempted to say that I am most proud of this one". Leif Ove Andsnes has certainly got the right to be proud of himself. Since his first recording of the Rachmaninov 3 with Berglund/Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra recorded in 1995, Andsnes has improved a substantial lot. His virtuosity in this recording of Rach 3 is even more impressive and he uses an even wider range of expression throughout his performance. Outstandingly, Andsnes' playing is completely accurate throughout both the concertos, I could not detect a single wrong note which is highly extrodinary considering that the Rach concertos are considered to be some of the most technically challenging ever written. Andsnes plays with such power and conviction, and when required subtlety and beauty. When it comes to the famous cadenzas in Rach 3, Andsnes' playing is simply overwhelming with expression and emotion.

The LSO are also absolutely amazing, their playing is also very virtuosic and played with much expression. Their playing is always engaging, exciting and passionate. They are very well controlled by Pappano who ensures a perfect balance between the different layers of orchestration. Pappano also encourages really warm, wonderful sounds from the orchestra. He certainly is a great conductor and follows Andsnes all the way. Pappano and Andsnes are an excellent combination of artists, they really understand eachothers insights to the piece which is one of the many factors that makes these performances so great.

The tempi chosen for both pieces seems absolutely ideal and always works very well, the use of rubato is handled very well.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Andrew R. Barnard on 3 Jan 2011
Format: Audio CD
After hearing Andsnes' fabulous recording of the first two Rachmaninov concertos (Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2), I knew this recording was sure to be outstanding. And it was. Andsnes, probably more than any other pianist, has given Rachmaninov an approach that is entirely devoid of sentimentality. But he hasn't left us with dry, tasteless music. There is a tremendous amount of emotion that will put you on the edge of your seat. We hear power and passion one moment, and melancholy and retrospection the next. While some pianists will bring out more outward show, no one can match Andsnes in making music that is deeply inward in nature. The music spills from the keys in a very subtle, but natural way. Andsnes brings out incredible detail that is fascinating. The only setback is the recording quality. It picks up excessive breathing, presumably from Pappano. And while Andsnes' tone is captured wonderfully, the LSO's tone comes across as lacking some depth. Still, the music more than makes up for these shortcomings and the recording sound is never too distracting.

When I heard that Andsnes had a new recording of the Rachmaninov 3rd coming out, I couldn't wait. I had greatly enjoyed his recording of this piece from when he was still in his twenties. It's probably no exaggeration to say that I have listened to his earlier recording hundreds of times - I love it. But his new recording, well, it's almost unbearably good. His old recording pales in comparison. All the youthfulness is still there, but there's a new sense of maturity. Andsnes' technique is even stronger than before, but he also has a whole lot more to say. In the first movement's opening poetic theme, Andsnes gives us tremendous grace and lyricism; the lovely theme speaks for itself.
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