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Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos 2 & 4

Vladimir Ashkenazy Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £7.49
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“When the Sydney Symphony Orchestra acquired Vladimir Ashkenazy as its new Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor, Australian classical music fans rejoiced over their good fortune in landing an undisputed legend. Often regarded as one of the preeminent solo pianists of the present era, over the years, Ashkenazy has also acquired equally ... Read more in Amazon's Vladimir Ashkenazy Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos 2 & 4 + Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto, No. 1 / Rhapsody On A Theme of Paganini + Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.3
Price For All Three: £29.87

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Product details

  • Composer: Sergey Rachmaninov
  • Audio CD (5 Oct 2000)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B0000041QE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 115,971 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

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

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor, Op.18 - 1. ModeratoRoyal Concertgebouw Orchestra11:22£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor, Op.18 - 2. Adagio sostenutoRoyal Concertgebouw Orchestra11:32£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor, Op.18 - 3. Allegro scherzandoRoyal Concertgebouw Orchestra11:15£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.4 in G minor, Op.40 - 1. Allegro vivace (Alla breve)Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra10:32£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.4 in G minor, Op.40 - 2. LargoRoyal Concertgebouw Orchestra 7:29£1.09  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.4 in G minor, Op.40 - 3. Allegro vivaceRoyal Concertgebouw Orchestra 9:36£1.09  Buy MP3 


Product Description

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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interpretation, performance, recording 10 Mar 2012
By Julian Hughes TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Judy Spotheim's review is very pertinent. I've never visited Amsterdam and so have never experienced a performance at the Concertgebouw, but this recording is so perfectly and brilliantly produced that I can imagine I know what it would be like to be sitting in the middle of the hall listening to Ashkenazy, Haitink et al. Disbelief is suspended. What more can you ask of a recording? This CD could serve as a demonstration of what can be achieved by expert, experienced and thoughtful engineering and production, which is to say that the listener forgets all about engineering and production and sound quality because he/she is transported emotionally and mentally to the world described by Rachmaninov and rendered so brilliantly by Ashkenazy, Haitink and the players of the Concertgebouw Orchestra. Ashkenazy's playing is lyrical and luminous, the tones of the piano and the other instruments are rich and vivid, the performers are present before you so distinctly that the soundscape seems layered and all encompassing.

I have several other recordings of Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2 but this is the one that has the blend of interpretation, performance and presentation that is so irresistable, distinctive and atmospheric as to not only be immediately recognisable, but also supremely appealing.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deeply felt performance of 4th 11 Jan 2010
By Scriabinmahler TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
This recording of Rachmaninov's 2nd concerto, played by Ashkenazy/Haitink, is slowly paced and beautifully played, but lacks the intensity of the previous recordings with Kondrashin and Previn, particularly in the outer movements.

4th concerto, on the other hand, proves to be a great performance, played with the wonderful rapport between the pianist and Haitink/RCO, bringging out the deep lyricism of the music like no other recordings.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful 22 July 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Wonderful CD. My favorite interpretation.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best and Best 3 Feb 2011
Format:Audio CD
This recording of Rachmaninov's 2nd concerto, played by Ashkenazy/Haitink, is nimbly paced and beautifully played, IT DOES NOT lacks any intensity and is far, far better affair than a previous recordings with Kondrashin (which is almost coming to a halt with those stretched temi and recorded-wise muffled passages) and it surpasses the one with Previn, particularly in the outer movements.

The 4th concerto, proves to be a great performance, played with the wonderful rapport between the pianist and Haitink/Concertgebouw, bringing out the deep lyricism of the music like no other recordings.

The recording itself (DDD) is crisp, clear, lucid, dynamic, and has the blend between the orchestra an the soloist while retaining the orchestral colors, grouping and details even at tutti forte-forte passages thanks to cleaver engineering by Mr. Colin Moorfoot - who was responsible for all of Ashkenazy recordings at the Concertgebouw for Decca (and as a bonus of sorts you get glimpses into the acoustics of the Concertgebouw Amsterdam).

It is a highly recommended modern Rachmaninoff's second and fourth piano concertos recording and it surpasses all what Ashkenazy did previously (including the series with Previn/London.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Beautiful 16 Aug 2013
By Janet Chandler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Allow me to be the next to add five stars for this recording. From a young age I had installed in me from my mother a love for classical music. It is only within the last couple of years however I have really started becoming acquainted with the works of Rachmaninov. In that time I have come to believe that there has never been a better composer of music for the piano then Sergei Rachmaninov. Like many others my favorite piece of music by Rachmaninov is his "Piano Concerto No. 2". It is simply the most absolutely beautiful piece of music I have ever heard. I have to say I haven't heard too many recordings of this piano concerto but there is no doubt this recording by the Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Bernard Haitink is the best that I have heard. There may be other recordings out there that is considered better then this one, and I won't argue there isn't, but I can't believe that any other recordings could sound as beautiful and spellbounding to me as this recording with Vladimir Ashkenazy at the piano. The third movement to the "Piano Concerto No. 2" is exceptionally breathtaking and the melody to this movement is well known to many people, even those who don't listen to or even like classical music. That is because in 1945 the song writing team of Buddy Kaye and Ted Mossman used the melody from that 3rd movement to create the pop song "Full Moon and Empty Arms". There would be many singers to record this song but the most famous recording would be Frank Sinatra's 1945 version that would go on to be a big hit that year in the U.S.

In praising the 2nd piano concerto though let me not forget to mention the other piano concerto that is on this CD, Rachmaninov's "Piano Concerto No. 4". I was not familier with the 4th concerto until I heard this CD. If the 2nd concerto is my favorite by Rachmaninov then his 4th concerto would easily be my second favorite piece of music by him. In fact the recording of the 4th piano concerto on this disc is a perfect compliment to the 2nd concerto. The mood and style are very similar for both piano concertos. If you love classical music then there is no doubt you got to add this to your music collection.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the best 25 April 2012
By David K. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Without question, this is the finest realization of the second and fourth (which seem to go together seamlessly) I've found. With four interpretations of these works on hand, I've had plenty of opportunity to compare, and I keep returning to these performances; the last three minutes of the second will have me in tears every time. Through the flawless, utterly masterful skill of Ashkenazy, supported by immaculate playing by the Royal Concertgebouw under Haitink, Rachmaninov's boundless passion pours forth and almost literally lifts you out of your seat. I would have forfeited a small fortune to have been present for this performance. While the CD mastering may be showing its age, for me, there is still simply no substitute.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magisterial 15 Jan 2009
By G.D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Ashkenazy is for many the top choice in Rachmaninov, and I might be inclined to agree. But while these accounts with Haitink from the eighties are interesting and strongly recommendable, I don't think, in the end, that they in any way replace his earlier accounts with Kondrashin and (in particular) Previn. What are the main differences? Well, as could perhaps have been predicted, the tempi are slower and mellower, but the textures are darker as well, and that isn't obviously a negative thing - especially, I'd say, in the fourth.

Ashkenazy mastery of the piano parts are never in doubt. His assured playing is never less than impressive, and the darkness Haitink draws from the orchestra (sometimes a little overbalanced and favoring the dark strings) makes for a surprisingly engaging perspective. The Concertgebouw Orchestra is, by the way, awesome - not only in the darkly dramatic parts, but also in their ability to create nuances and shades in the more lyrical parts.

That said, Ashkenazy and Previn are overall a more obvious first-choice in no. 2. But in no. 4, the situation is different - the dark, melancholic hue acquired by the main theme of the first movement, for instance, is utterly convincing. And the grimness and robustness of Ashkenazy's playing (and the dark strings of the Concertgebouw again) present this work in a far more somber light than we are used to - and it makes perfect sense. Sound quality is open, but a little cathedral-blurry and more than a little digital. All in all, this disc is strongly recommended.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep interpretation 18 April 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The most deepest interpretation of this beautiful C minor concerto. Warm sound. The interpretation if full of energy and passion. One of my favourites records ever purchased.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have Best of the Best 3 Feb 2011
By Judy Spotheim - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This recording of Rachmaninov's 2nd concerto, played by Ashkenazy/Haitink, is nimbly paced and beautifully played, IT DOES NOT lacks any intensity and is far, far better affair than previous recordings with Kondrashin (which is almost coming to a halt with those stretched temi and recorded-wise muffled passages) and it surpasses particularly in the outer movements, the one that Ashkenazy has previously recorded with Previn.

The 4th concerto, proves to be a great performance, played with the wonderful rapport between the pianist and Haitink/RCO, bringing out the deep lyricism of the music like no other recordings.

The recording itself (DDD) is crisp, clear, dynamic, and has the blend between the orchestra an the soloist while retaining the orchestral colors and details even at tutti forte-forte passages thanks to cleaver engineering (and the acoustic of the Concertgebouw Amsterdam is maintained - as a bonus).
It is a highly recommended modern Rachmaninoff's second and fourth piano concertos recording and it surpasses all what Ashkenazy did previously (Rachmaninoff/concerti) before.
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