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Rubinstein & Rachmaninov Concertos CD

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Product details

  • Performer: Nicholas Milton & Joseph Moog
  • Conductor: n/a
  • Composer: Anton Rubinstein, Serge Rachmaninov
  • Audio CD (6 Feb 2012)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Onyx Classics
  • ASIN: B006T6HHZ0
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 192,575 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Piano Concerto No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 70 - Joseph Moog/Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz
2. Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 30 - Joseph Moog/Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz

Product Description

The outstanding young German pianist Joseph Moog makes his debut on ONYX with a superb disc of two great Russian piano concertos that have had very different fates. Anton Rubinstein s 4th was once one of the most famous and popular concertos in the repertoire, and many of the major virtuosos performed this work into the early years of the 20th century when the composer s other works vanished from the concert hall. He composed 5 piano concertos which can be considered as the models for those of Tchaikovsky and later Rachmaninov. Well written for the piano and the orchestra, Rubinstein s 4th is the archetypal Romantic concerto big tunes, big gestures, and plenty of exciting finger - work for the soloist. The neglect of this work today is hard to understand. Rachmaninov s 3rd concerto was one of the works that swept Rubinstein s concertos from the concert platform. Its combination of virtuosity, symphonic structure, plus the hallmark Rachmaninov gift for melody has made this one of the most popular works in the repertoire, from the time of its premiere in the USA, with the composer as soloist and Mahler conducting. It is one of the most technically demanding concertos in the repertoire. Joseph Moog has already established a formidable reputation as virtuoso and received rave reviews for his recent Liszt Concertos recording. Moog's playing conveys a grand and personal sense of Liszt's rhetoric, never succumbing to a tempting but empty glitter. Everything is given time to breathe and speak, and if there is an occasional lack of the sort of diabolic frisson that is second nature to, say, Richter or Argerich...these readings shine with an overall mastery and insight...there is a poise and maturity remarkable in so young a pianist. Rival discs by Brendel and Zimerman in particular may thrill and delight the most discerning Lisztian, but even in this company Joseph Moog holds his head high Bryce Morrison, Gramophone.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 26 Jun 2012
Format: Audio CD
It's the Rachmaninov that you will want to listen to on this album. Firstly, the Rubinstein, whilst a fair enough work, really does pale into insignificance beside the deservedly more famous warhorse of Rachmaninov. If you study the score of the Rubinstein you'll quickly be amazed how such a famous pianist can write so un-pianistically for the piano. Thematically it's also a dull work that will only divert your attention momentarily.

The Rachmaninov, on the other hand, is really what it's all about. Moog plays with finesse and passion. His tempi are generally SLIGHTLY on the faster side - but not supersonic a la Argerich or Hough - and this is to his credit. He is also unafraid to slow down when the moment calls for it. The Intermezzo is just amazing, particularly in the repeated notes of the poco piu mosso, which are very neatly played.

The third movement's scherzando is tight and light. The fingerwork at (56)-bar 4, is truly amazing.

For those who need to know, the first movement cadenza is the scherzando version, not the more brooding and appropriate chordal ossai version.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Grand Manner Pianism 1 May 2012
By Frank L. Bell - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This review is directed toward serious, experienced listeners who are familiar with the works discussed.
Once again the young German pianist Joseph Moog has made a recording that goes straight to the top of the list. This CD pairs one of the most familiar concertos with one that is rarely encountered.
Although the D Minor Concerto of Rubinstein is infrequently played, it has been in the repertories of many formidable pianists. From Rubinstein's time to the present day, someone has had this work in his fingers. Ponti, Ginzburg, Levant, Lewenthal, Hamelin, et al. have made recordings of this work, and Cherkassky and Wild played it live.
Like so many others of his time, Rubinstein wrote this work to demonstrate his own special style at the piano. That style was repeatedly described as grand, powerful, and sweeping. Rubinstein's contemporaries always noted the forcefulness of his playing more than his accuracy.
Rubinstein's D Minor Concerto certainly requires the above-mentioned elements in order to be at its most effective. Simply being "pretty" or "expressive" will not work with this piece.
Joseph Moog plays this work to perfection. He provides it with the necessary power (I am reminded of Jorge Bolet when Moog makes his entrance with those thunderous chords) and speed. But he also presents the beauty of the work without overly emphasizing it. Whereas some other recordings make this work sound a bit overdone, Moog's driving pulse brings out the full impact of the music.
This recording is substantially better than the outstanding one by Hamelin. What more can I say?!
With the Rachmaninoff Third, Moog faces stiffer competition by the simple fact of the number of great pianists who have recorded this work. (Here I will say that the majority of recordings of the Rach Third should never have been made!) And again, Moog rises to the top of the list. If you favor the performances given by Rachmaninoff himself and Earl Wild, you will certainly like this offering.
Moog plays the Op. 30 at a brisk tempo, but not excessively fast, like so many pianists who change this lovely piece of music into an athletic event. His clarity and power are as impressive as his musicality. Moog give the finest performance I have ever heard of that exotic waltz-like section in the latter part of the second movement. His energy and clarity in the repeated notes of the third movement are stunning, and he does not cheat as do so many other pianists by omitting repeated notes in certain measures. In the first movement Moog plays the original cadenza, the lighter one described as "Mendelssohnian" by Earl Wild, and recorded by Wild and Rachmaninoff.
As an aside, I will point out that those huge chords in the alternate first movement cadenza practically mirror the opening chords of the Rubinstein Fourth. Certainly Rachmaninoff knew the Rubinstein work.
The engineering of this CD is absolutely first-rate. The piano is heard quite clearly and the beautiful sounds created by Moog are easily perceived. Yet the orchestra is full and powerful, and the entire sound is rich. The conductor and orchestra are with Mr. Moog every step, and the result is a CD that you should immediately add to your collection.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Edge-of-your-seat-pianism 22 Oct 2012
By Hegelian - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this for the Rubenstein, a favorite concerto of mine. (How odd that his other four concertos are all dull by comparison.) Suffice to say that Moog's performance is easily the best available, better than Lewenthal, Ponti, Banowetz or even Hamelin. But the Rachmaninoff! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Moog tosses the thing off as though he were playing third-year piano exercises. Yet, he manages to take a truly romantic perspective notwithstanding the piano pyrotechnics. If I could own only one performance, I'm not sure this would be it, but I wouldn't part with it now that I do.
WOW! 23 Feb 2013
By Donald F. Bowers - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I admit that I am a Rach #3 addict and have almost all the performances by major and lesser artists on cd.This wonderful performance goes to almost the top of the list! I am not familiar with Joseph Moog and found a few solo performances on youtube.But this is one of the great performances.I do not believe that the composers own recordings can be held up as a fair examples other than for Rachmaninoffs incredible technique and phrasing of his own concerti.He was controlled by the need to fit his performances onto 78s and this might have effected his tempi. I love the recordings by Steven Hough and consider them a must. I feel that some performance such as by Martha Argerich are thrilling, but at times overly hysterical and loud. There are many greats out there such as Earl Wild,Shura Cherkassy,Van Cliburn, Ashkenasy,Bereskovsky,etc. This performance is very different.I find that there is a progression through the performance leading to an absolutly tremendous finale. Moogs performance leads to a last movement that is totally joyous.It is fast without loosing any of the poetry of the music.He understands what many young pianists,such as Lang Lang dont get.There is a build up of tension and release within not only a phrase, but in the concerto as a total.Too often we get effects for effects sake.This young pianist has a conception from the first note to the last. Just wonderful.The orchestra under Nicholas Milton is with him note for note and the recording is clear and many details not often heard in the orchestra come thru. The Rubinstein is also fabulous,but I bought this for the Rachmaninoff.I can only hope he records all the concerti. I couldnt be without the Hough live performances, but will also be returning to this one many times..Oh! If you see the recording by Santiago Rodrigues with the Lake Forrest Symphony,snap it up.Its beyond fast, but really,really exciting.
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