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Rachmaninov: Sonata No. 1 in D minor, Op. 28 & No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 36 [CD]

Leslie Howard Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 11.73 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Performer: Leslie Howard
  • Composer: Sergei Rachmaninov
  • Audio CD (18 July 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Melba
  • ASIN: B004YHBAY0
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 292,111 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Sonata No. 1 in D minor, Op. 28 (1907), Allegro moderato
2. Lento
3. Allegro molto
4. Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 36 (1913) [Original version], Allegro agitato
5. Non allegro - Lento
6. L'istesso tempo - Allegro molto
7. Three Piano Pieces (1917), Andante ma non troppo
8. Oriental Sketch
9. Fragments
10. Nunc dimittis, Op. 37 No. 5 [Arranged for piano solo as Vesper Mass - V - 'Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace' (St Luke, 2:29)]

Product Description

Product Description

Australian pianist Leslie Howard presents the first recording of this coupling of the two Rachmaninov Piano Sonatas featuring the original 1913 version of the Sonata No. 2, regarded as unplayable by performers of the composer's time. Following the premier performance the devastated Rachmaninov radically simplified the work, but on this release the Sonata can be enjoyed in its original splendour, alongside the mighty Sonata No. 1 of 1907, inspired by a reading of Goethe's Faust. The recording also includes four exquisite miniatures, among them three piano pieces composed by Rachmaninov as he was about to leave Russia forever. In his booklet notes, Leslie Howard notes: "He managed, over just two days in November 1917, to write an aching threnody, a defiant bit of true grit, and a little piece of almost unbearable nostalgia." The last of these four miniatures is the piano solo version of the fifth movement of the Vespers, "unquestionably one of the great masterpieces of Russian liturgical music". Highly-renowned internationally, Leslie Howard is one of the most prodigious pianists working today. His passion for new musical experiences shines through in performances which combine a formidable technique with a wealth of scholarship illuminating rare and mainstream repertoire. Dr Howard is an authority on Russian music with important premiere performances of works by Anton Rubinstein, Tchaikovsky, Glazunov and Stravinsky, but he is probably best-known for his 99-disc set of the complete piano music of Franz Liszt, the largest recording project ever undertaken by a solo artist. Leslie Howard was born and raised in Melbourne, studying at Monash University and focussing on both musicology and performance. He was also educated in Italy and in London where he has lived since the 1970s. With more than 80 concertos in his repertoire, he has played with many of the world's great orchestras, working with many distinguished conductors, and he maintains an exceptionally busy solo schedule on the international circuit. Personnel: Leslie Howard (piano)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Rachmaninov sonatas 19 Nov 2011
By CHD
Format:Audio CD
This is a very good recording and interpretation of these two magnificent sonatas, it fully lives up to the Gramophone review. I've been waiting for something like this for years.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leslie Howard's Rach 12 Aug 2011
By Alscribji - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Those of you familiar with Leslie Howard's Liszt discography may accuse Howard of recording too much. It is refreshing, however, to hear Howard play ANOTHER composer's music besides Liszt. Howard's playing of the Rachmaninov second piano sonata is different than any other version I've heard. He plays the original 1913 version here, and he plays it so convincingly and with great command of the music and its interpretation. The first sonata is equally played very well and persuasively. The recording quality is really something to behold. One wishes that the engineers for this record had been present on all of Howard's Liszt records (despite the fact that the recording quality of some of Howard's Liszt Hyperion records are very good). You will not find the scintillating playing of Marc-Andre Hamelin here, nor the "swallow-you-whole" performance of Vladimir Horowitz. What you will find is a good, solid, clean performance of an old warhorse (the second sonata) that really stands on its own. Howard does play with a big sound and it is very effective and recorded very well. The piano sound is not too muffled or "high end." It is well balanced and comes through very very well. Howard should record more of the "non-Liszt" romantic piano music.
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