1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This disc from 2000 clearly announced to the waiting world that a new and notable exponent of Rachmaninov had arrived. The disc fully justifies the expectation which preceded it and fortunately the recording quality does the performances good service being full ranges and sonorous.
Lugansky is possessed of considerable technical resources which enables him to approach Rachmaninov's interpretive demands without apparent technical compromise. That impression is reinforced by the fine DVD he made at the Roque d'Antheron which ends with Rachmaninov of definitive bravura. Lugansky's approach to Rachmaninov favours the darker colours which can be brought out in performance. He favoured the same range of expression in his admired set of Chopin Etudes so it would be fair to suggest that this may be part of his natural character. The preludes and Moments Musicaux on this disc give him ample opportunity to explore the 'dark side' of Rachmaninov, and bearing in mind what we know about Rachmaninov's own character, this emphasis seems to be completely justified.
On this disc Lugansky presents the earlier opus 3 set of the preludes preceded by the famous opus 3/2 prelude. These are all superb performances, with much atmospheric empathy as outlined above. These preludes match the best of the available alternatives and it is unfortunate for collectors that he has never completed the set with the later opus 32 preludes. Instead he performs the opus 16 Moments Musicaux, which although relatively early works, are still readily identifiable as inhabiting the same emotional and sound worlds that Rachmaninov made his own. These too are given uniformly fine performances.
Lugansky is not the only Russian pianist to sound absolutely at one with the Russian soul as expressed in Rachmaninov's compositions. Richter is an earlier example but even since this recording by Lugansky there have been several more young Russian pianists of considerable noteworthiness to consider.
Nevertheless it is reasonable to observe that even in this time of extraordinary choice of fine performances on disc, this one should be seriously considered. If the program appeals it is unlikely that any purchaser will be other than impressed and delighted with these well recorded performances. Purchasers in the UK should note that there are now several versions of this disc available to buy covering several price points so best to shop around.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 29 October 2001
This CD show's the colossal technician of a great pianist with a great talent!!
I know his very good CD from Chopin etuds and I think Nikolai Lugansky is much bether playing piano from Russian composers, because he has the great school of Russian musicians. Like his former mentor ( Nikolayeva )said there are already those who see him as a vital part of the grand Russian line and I think they are right.
If you want to know a litle of the great Russian Musician Sergey Rachmaninov, buy this CD.