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Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos 2 & 3 CD

23 customer reviews

Price: £5.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos 2 & 3
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  • Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 4
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  • Rachmaninov: Solo Piano Recordings 1
Total price: £18.57
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Product details

  • Performer: Sergei Rachmaninov
  • Orchestra: Philadelphia Orchestra
  • Conductor: Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ormandy
  • Composer: Sergey Rachmaninov
  • Audio CD (1 Feb. 1999)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos Historical
  • ASIN: B000026B8F
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,689 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. First Movement: Allegro Moderato
2. Second Movement: Adagio Sostenuto
3. Third Movement: Allegro Scherzando
4. Allegro Ma Non Tanto
5. Intermezzo (Adagio)
6. Finale (Alla breve)

Product Description

Serge Rachmaninov, piano - Philadelphia Orchestra, dir. Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ormandy

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

129 of 131 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A on 8 July 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is definitive playing of magnificent music. Rachmaninoff himself is the pianist on these recordings made in 1929 and 1939-40.
This is a new remastering of these classic recordings, thanks to sound engineer Mark Obert-Thorn. It is superior to RCA's remastering (released about 10 years ago). The fullness and bloom of the orchestra here is great; you will hear details that you can't hear on RCA's release, which now sounds rather ugly. As to the sound of Rachmaninoff's piano ... it never sounded better. Here, he seems to play with more color and finesse than ever.
Rachmaninoff plays the Second Concerto complete, with no omissions, but omissions occur in the Third Concerto. Rachmaninoff deliberately omits two "small" sections in the first movement including a few chords in the cadenza, a rather large chunk of the second movement, and two sections in the finale. (I say "deliberately," because he could have recorded the whole Concerto had he wished to do so: the original release on 78rpm discs had one fewer disc than was possible. So it wasn't recording technology that is responsible for these omissions.)
Why did he make these "cuts" in the Third Concerto? Some people have suggested that he felt intimidated by Vladimir Horowitz, who put out a blockbuster recording of the Third Concerto in the early 1930s which was heavily cut. Other people say (and they probably come closer to the truth) that in his later years Rachmaninoff saw concision as a virtue in music because of his conversations with his composer friend Medtner, and cut away at some of his earlier pieces to make them tighter. Of course, most reviewers in the old days thought the Third Concerto was too long.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mart TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Feb. 2008
Format: Audio CD
The Naxos historical label includes all four Rachmaninov piano concertos, numbers 1 and 4 on this CD and concertos 2 and 3 available on a separate release.

Played by Rachmnainov himself, there is immense historical significance with these recordings, which were originally made by the (quirkily named) company formerly known as the `Victor Talking Machine Company' in 1929, 1939 and 1940.

The sound is obviously not comparable with that produced by today's recording techniques - the quieter moments at times displaying something akin to the sound of an old mono 78 record being played with a worn out needle, but it's the performances themselves which are of interest, and whether or not they are played faithfully to the score is surely of lesser importance than the fact that it's the composer's own interpretation we are hearing.

The presence of Stokowski as conductor can only add more historical value to these recordings which, released 70 years after their performance, are preserved forever as a nostalgic reminder of Rachmaninov's playing skills.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. Dunning-Davies on 5 Feb. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
To listen to Rachmaninov himself playing two of his own concertos (nos. 2 & 3) is a real joy. While I love listening to modern performers, hearing these old giants of classical music perform is something else. The recordings, one dating from 1929, are excellent. To anyone who loves classical music, I urge you to buy this CD and enjoy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr Swallow on 12 Dec. 2010
Format: Audio CD
These are, of course, definitive recordings by the composer himself -a great pianist in his own right. That does not mean, however, that no-one else can play them and there are multiple recordings played with supreme brilliance, some of which match those of the composer. One often speculates as well as to just how the primitive recording conditions affected these RCA performances. What is not open to doubt is that the recordings are primitive in their technology and not at all pleasing to the ear. So they may be counted as historical documents gratefully received by a master pianist playing his own music. As to other performances, certainly Richter in no 2 is sensational, although whether it is Rachmaninov's vision of the piece is a matter of debate. And for number 3, Argerich is unmatched for virtuosity and sheer voltage, ven (dare I say) by the composer himself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carl Armstrong on 12 May 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I agree with everything Mr.A said in his excellent review but just wanted to add that recording engineer Mark Obert Thorn had access to and made use of alternate takes made during the 1929 recording session of the 2nd Concerto.This explains why here Rachmaninoff plays the opening chords of his Second Concerto simultaneously (as written) where as in the RCA transfers they are rolled. Also Rachmaninoffs expressive insights often simulate ones breathing as one speaks which is unique, very effective, and completely unforgettable.

The 3rd Concerto has 66 bars missing, (which is why I didn't give 5 stars) mostly from the 3rd mvmnt(see my comment below).Rachmaninoff edited this Concerto in 1910 yet this recording originally made in December 1939 & February 1940 has numerous passages played differently in regards to expression.Even so, the guidelines are here as to the correct way to play this magnificent work, which unfortunately escapes 90% of todays pianists.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. D. Russell on 23 Nov. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
But the background hiss can be a bit off putting. I played it to a friend who was not as 'wowed' by the fact that the composer was playing it and all he said was 'it's not a very good recording'
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