So many words to describe Nikolai Lugansky in this repertoire, I happened to be reading Chekhov short stories while listening and it all came together. In my mind, Lugansky is the finest interpreter of Rachmaninov alive today. He perfectly captures the Spring-like freshness of the first Sonata, and the Autumnal ripeness of the wonderfully concise and bravura 2nd. There is a truely authentic Russianess that you also hear in his recordings of the Concertos and the Rhapsody, especially the later recording of the 3rd Concerto of which he is the finest exponent performing today.
The recordings were made in Potton Hall, the sound is fantastic.