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A Window in Time, Vol.2 [CD]

Adolf Henselt , Anton Rubinstein , Giovanni Sgambati , Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky , Sergei Rachmaninov Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Performer: Sergei Rachmaninov
  • Composer: Adolf Henselt, Anton Rubinstein, Giovanni Sgambati, Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky
  • Audio CD (18 Dec 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B00000IJVD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 225,525 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Henselt: Were I a Bird, Op. 2, No. 6
2. Rubinstein: Barcarolle No. 5, Op. 93, No. 7
3. Gluck-Sgambati: Melodie (from Orfeo ed Euridice
4. Tchaikovsky: Troika (The Seasons: November)
5. Mendelssohn: Spinning song, Op. 67, No. 34
6. Chopin: Waltz in E-flat, Op. 18 (Grande valse brillante)
7. Tchaikovsky: Waltz, Op. 40, No. 8
8. Chopin-Liszt: The Maiden's Wish (from Polish Songs)
9. Chopin: Waltz, Op. 34, No. 3 (Valse brillante)
10. Schubert-Liszt: Das Wandern
11. Bach: Sarabande (from Partita No. 4, BWV 828)
12. Chopin: Nocturne, Op. 15, No. 1
13. Paderewski: Minuet, Op. 14, No. 1
14. Beethoven-Rubinstein: Turkish March (from Ruins of Athens)
15. Schubert: Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 4
16. Chopin: Scherzo in B-flat minor, Op. 31

Product Description

Product Description

Rachmaninoff performs classic piano works in a spectacular recording made on a Bösendorfer 290SE Reproducing Piano. This remarkable listening experience brings Rachmaninoff's phenomenal pianistic talent to life in today's world. By using unprecedented new techniques of transfer and reproduction, scientist and mathematician Wayne Stahnke has eliminated the mechanical aspects of music roll performances. More astonishingly these advances reveal the subtleties and fine details of Rachmaninoff's playing with startling clarity, showing us why he was regarded as perhaps the greatest pianist of his time. With a pioneering combination of scientific, electronic and mathematical processes, Stahnke has for the second time, resurrected the subtleties of Rachmaninoff's performances, embedded in his music rolls, for the modern listener to enjoy. This recording features the great Rachmaninoff performing works by other composers, including spectacular and idiosyncratic renditions of pieces he never recorded on LP, such as the Chopin Scherzo in B flat minor.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rach lives again !!! 29 April 2009
A wonderful occasion to hear a re-birth Rachmaninov playing a Bosendorfer Grand for all of us ! The work made from Telarc is wonderful and encomiable while the Rach 's playing is unbelievable and astonishing . Thank you Telarc. Higly reccomended also the vol. 1 in wich Rach plays himself , from the same label .A Window in Time - Rachmaninov Plays Rachmaninov
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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This disc is the result of some extraordinary and dedicated work by Wayne Stahnke as an attempt to bring a faithful reproduction of Rachmaninov's playing to the modern generation, a generation that no longer has a direct memory of one of the reputedly greatest pianists of his generation. The source material was 'music rolls' which include subtleties as 'touch' as well as the notes embedded. This involved the building of specialist electronic equipment including special scanners and an electronic version of the Bosendorfer Reproducing Piano. The next stage was to scan, repair and transfer the original music roll performances to a digital format followed by a modern recording of the Reproducing Piano. The result is amazing and provides an invaluable insight into interpretations and performances given by Rachmaninov.

The playing itself proves to be fully up to expectation with superb clarity and articulation and a tremendous range of subtleties in touch. The sixteen tracks on this disc include many well known original compositions by Chopin, Schubert and Mendelssohn plus a number of arrangements. Several of these pieces are no longer in the main repertoire such as the opening 'If I were a bird' by Henselt which is a remarkable piece when played light this with feather-light touch. This lightness of touch informs all of the pieces as does the sustained lyricism of the melody line regardless of other accompanying complications. The Schubert Impromptu and the Mendelssohn Spinning Song are simply jaw-dropping in their fleet and airy precision. Even in pieces requiring more weight such as the Chopin Scherzo the same dazzling articulation, lyricism and lightness of touch is readily apparent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Melody by Gluck 6 Nov 2012
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At a recent Festival Hall recital, Angela Hewitt played Gluck's "Melody" as an encore. Research on the Amazon website showed that it was included in this CD of Rachmaninov so I bought it. Together with the other pieces on the disc, the excellent piano playing of Rachmaninov is beautifully demonstrated.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it, cherish it--this is a must-have disc 23 Aug 1999
By ericberg@means.net - Published on Amazon.com
One can only hope that Telarc keeps releasing these "Window in Time" discs until we hear all of the rolls Rachmaninoff made. My old piano prof said, "Let's just get it over with, Rachmaninoff was the greatest pianist ever." Upon hearing these discs, you will know why many people agree. The 78s don't do his playing justice. The Telarc recording of the Bosendorfer does. Pay particular attention to the Chopin. See if you can come up with adequate superlatives to describe this playing! I can't.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific ride through history. 2 Jun 1999
By Benjamin de M. (ben_4@hotmail.com) - Published on Amazon.com
Now, I understand what pianism is all about. Before I purchased this CD I never had the belief that what I was playing was true to the composer's intentions. Now, especially when interpreting Rachmaninoff I have the self confidence to truly ignite through my interpretation. Rachmaninoff's playing is quite simply, outstanding, an unbelievable tour-de-force, that sometimes results in the most delicate of playing, while never losing sight of the real picture. Anyone who has ever heard other playing by Rachmaninoff will revel in this new technology, and find themselves in a world that they thought existed. Those who haven't heard Rachmaninoff before: What took you so long??
A great buy.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The brilliance of the first CD continues... 9 April 1999
By David Adams - Published on Amazon.com
Those who have heard the first "Window in Time" CD have an idea of what to expect here. Wayne Stahnke has worked magic with Rachmaninoff's piano roll performances. Pay special attention to the Chopin performances -- the F-major Nocturne, for instance, is languid and rich, with amazing definition in the left-hand voicing. The Schubert Impromptu is played at dizzying speed, without sacrificing accuracy or expression. This and the previous "Window in Time" CD are excellent evidence of Rachmaninoff's astounding mastery as a pianist. Not to be missed.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!!! 27 July 2006
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
No, I'm not a kid. But I am quite the Rachmaninoff enthusiast;I own all his recordings, both acoustic/electric and piano roll. Before buying these discs (i.e. the two volumes of A Window In Time), I read the reviews here, and was a bit reluctant in purchasing them after having read the negative ones. They claim that "there is no music" in these cds, that the "performances" are uncharacteristic of Mr. Rachmaninoff. But after comparing these performances with those recorded years ago, they do indeed seem to be accurate. Though they were digitally transferred, the authenticity is still there. I actually wonder if the naysayers only bash this collection because of the fact that these rolls were converted in such a way, and because of this formed a harsh bias. The alternative to these recordings on Decca are nice sounding though the tempi are a bit off, as proven by the recordings of the master himself playing. This is especially evident in the G minor Prelude; the Decca version is simply too slow and simply unlike Rachmaninoff. The version here, however, sounds very much like his playing. Despite my praises, there are two flaws I find in AWIT.The first is the use of a Boesendorfer that at times sounds awkward,like in the ending of Elegy; personally I would have loved for these to have been somehow transferred onto a Steinway, and Rachmaninoff would agree with me, as he performed exclusively on Steinways. The second flaw is that, yes, that little bit of sponteneity found in the acoustic/electric recordings is missing, but of course neither anyone nor anything can reproduce Rachmaninoff's pianism flawlessly but Rachmaninoff himself. I strongly reccommend both volumes of "A Window in Time". Try not to let the negative reviewers sway you, decide for yourself.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like his 'Window in Time'' companion, an indispensable recording for every Rachmaninoff buff 25 Jun 2011
By Alexander Arsov - Published on Amazon.com
What I have to say about the differences and the similarities between Rachmaninoff's sound recordings and his digitally reproduced piano rolls, I have said it in my review of the other disc in the ''Window in Time'' series. Suffice it to say here that every word is equally true for this disc as well.

By far the most important among the 16 pieces on this disc are the three Rachmaninoff never recorded sonically, either acoustically or electrically. These are Rubinstein's ''Barcarolle'', which is just another proof why the great pianist is well forgotten as a composer, and Chopin's Nocturne Op. 15 No. 1 and the Second Scherzo, which may remind us that Rachmaninoff was a ''Chopinist'' to be reckoned with. At first glance, Chopin's pieces may seem to be too much on the slow side for Rachmaninoff, but everybody who has listened to his sound recordings of Chopin - most numerous after his own works - should know that this is not at all unusual. Rachmaninoff's stupendous recording of the Third Scherzo, unfortunately available only in poor acoustical sound, is a fine example of the stark contrasts that characterize his Chopin interpretations: the octave section is insanely fast, while the second subject is taken unusually slowly. The gem on this particular disc certainly is the Second Scherzo. It takes Rachmaninoff nearly ten minutes to go through all of it, but at least he doesn't make any annoying cuts like the young Michelangelli. In fact, Rachmaninoff creates here an awe-inspiring interpretation that combines the demonic impetuosity of Horowitz with the aristocratic poise of Rubinstein. We can but divine what glorious sound Rachmaninoff must have coaxed from his Steinway in the concert hall.

Among the pieces which Rachmaninoff did record sonically as well there are fewer revelations in comparison with the other disc in the series. The reasons are two-fold. On the one hand, the program here contains a great deal more junk. One wonders whether it was Rachmaninoff's wish to record such pieces by Henselt, Paderewski and Gluck-Sgambati, or he was under certain pressure from the recording companies to produce lollipops for mass use. On the other hand, most of his sound recordings of these pieces are post-1924, that is from the electrical era, and thus do not sound so much worse than the digitally reproduced piano rolls in terms of clarity; as far as depth and sonority, and even some subtle nuances, are concerned, the sound recordings are way superior of course. Perhaps the two Chopin Waltzes (Op. 18 and Op. 34 No. 3) are the most precious among these rolls, because they allow us to appreciate details that are hardly discernible in the sound recordings of these pieces (acoustical ones from 1920-21).

In short, though less fine as a selection, this second disc in the ''Window in Time'' series is just as important for the Rachmaninoff buff as its predecessor. It goes without saying that it, too, must be listened to together with the corresponding sound recordings in order Rachmaninoff's unique pianism to be fully appreciated.
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