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8 Reviews
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rachmaninov 24 Preludes
This is a superb collection. Stephen Osborne demonstrates that he is a master of his craft with a feel for Rachmaninov that must put him in the forefront of Rachmaninov interpreters. Rachmaninov calls for wizardry and Osborne delivers it by the bucket-load.

The recording and mastering are excellent. I've tried, but I can't fault this CD.
Published on 13 Jun. 2009 by Chris Todhunter

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2 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing but Excellent in Parts
Recording quallity cannot be faulted and the same is true for the playing. Provided that you are content to pick and choose the tracks to which you want to listen,then you will not be disappointed. If you are expecting to enjoy this CD from start to finish you may be disappointed. Some tracks are remarkable, others are boreing. More a work of reference than a performance.
Published on 1 Sept. 2009 by W. Paton


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rachmaninov 24 Preludes, 13 Jun. 2009
By 
Chris Todhunter (Suffolk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes (Audio CD)
This is a superb collection. Stephen Osborne demonstrates that he is a master of his craft with a feel for Rachmaninov that must put him in the forefront of Rachmaninov interpreters. Rachmaninov calls for wizardry and Osborne delivers it by the bucket-load.

The recording and mastering are excellent. I've tried, but I can't fault this CD.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a range of moods and emotions, 1 Jun. 2009
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T. Watkins (North Queensferry, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes (Audio CD)
I bought this CD on the basis of a 5-star newspaper review, and it is beautiful. Of course, it is full of trademark Rachmaninov - long, long melodies, and left and right hand playing at different rhythms against one another. What surprised me, and continues to delight me, is the range of moods that Steven Osborne introduces. I associate Rachmaninov with raw power, making the concert grand vibrate. But just listen to the famous C sharp minor prelude, for example, and hear the quiet, reflective contemplation that follows that famous, introductory chords. It's a revelation, and I play it again and again as I get to know the other 23 preludes that I didn't know at all.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Rachmaninov Preludes, Excellently Played, 11 July 2009
This review is from: Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes (Audio CD)
Complete recordings of Rachmaninov's 24 Preludes for piano - Ten Preludes, op 23, Thirteen Preludes, op 32 and the seperate Prelude in C sharp minor, op 3. No 2 - are not abundant, however wellknown some of them are. So this record is a very welcome contribution, particularly as it is performed in a most convincing way, not the least when the less wellknown preludes are concerned. They reveal the width and the richness of this repertoire, and there are many preludes well worth getting as often played as the ravishing, though a bit jaded encores, like C sharp minor and G minor.
Steven Osborne appears to be an ideal Rachmaninov interpreter, dynamically expressive as well as filled with that impressionistic rêverie that was the secret core of Rachmaninov's composing and pianism. If the Russian master's own interpretations are animated by the very heart of his creativity and dreams, Osborne's playing is showing the new ways an interpreter always has to enter upon, and do so with all the inventiveness and sensitivity those short pieces demand.
Some time, I found Osborne's tempi slightly too slow, so for instance in the famous C sharp minor prelude, which I think will take its time to be naturally accepted - but it certainly will in due time, when auditively it has settled.
As a rule, however, his amalgamation of energy and repose is of such a persuading quality that I suppose he will enter the top position as a Rachmaninov interpreter just below the composer himself and the unforgettable Josef Hofmann, and as a complete recording, this one will now appear as the obvious choice for listeners who wish to expand the experience of the Rachmaninov preludes to new living interpretations. So it is easy highly to recommend it!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Supeb Rachmaninov, 20 Jun. 2009
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J. Lamede "jlamede" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes (Audio CD)
These performances do complete justice to Rachmaninov: sensitive, full-blooded but never sentimental. A superb set.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ready to rumble?, 13 Jun. 2009
By 
Steen Mencke "s.mencke dk" (Denmark) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes (Audio CD)
It is always good to see a new addition to the catalogue when it comes to the complete preludes of Rachmaninov. At present I know of only about 10 versions released on CD, and some of the composer's greatest interpreters - such as Sviatoslav Richter and Earl Wild - never got around to recording all 24. After a characteristically beautiful recording by Dame Moura Lympany and the efforts of Peter Katin and Howard Shelley (both very decent performances, sans plus), Steven Osborne seems the perfect choice for a further anglophone to have a go at it, and I must say I was not for a moment disappointed.

Osborne's playing is less crystalline than that of some pianists of his generation - and Rachmaninov himself, if one cares to lend an ear to his outstanding piano roll recordings released some 10 years ago on Telarc - but when it comes to catching the mood of longing (for mother Russia and many other things) that is at the center of Rachmaninov and the worldly elegance always present beneath the occasional ferocity, Osborne succeeds like very few I have encountered over the years. I have heard others manage a bit more desperation in the chilling B minor prelude (let Demidenko take you there!) and a slightly more electric tingle in the famous G sharp minor do., but overall Osborne's view is remarkably consistent and it steers him clear of the occasional paroxysms of bad taste often found in other performances - especially in the C sharp minor and G minor preludes. It also leaves him free to make the 24th prelude in G flat major the crowning achievement it rightly should be, and Osborne's marvellous rendering of this piece is in itself worth the price of the disc. In my music collection only the live recording (and rare as diamonds THEY are!) made by Marietta Petkova in 2002 reaches the level of involvement I find in Osborne, and for all the praise I have for Petkova he is arguably the finer pianist.

Why only four stars then, you might ask. Well, Hyperion always had a tendency to go a bit heavy on the sound (lots of bass, little treble), and in some of their otherwise fine recordings it is bordering on the annoying. In this case this is not as prominent as it sometimes is, but as compensation they have "expertly" managed a deep rumble (<160 Hz) that leaves me with the somewhat nostalgic - but not at all pleasant - feeling of being in the London Underground. Unless they made the recording there (and according to the booklet they didn't!) this has to warrant a little gentle kick up the backside: hire some recording engineers with the ability to register less than 300 and more than 2500 Hz, for crying out loud!. Sorry Steven Osborne, not your fault! Do keep up the good work.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rachmaninov Preludes CD, 26 May 2009
By 
Valerie Thame (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes (Audio CD)
Excellent recording and sensitive performance although the pianist Steven Osborne was unknown to me. Bought mainly because it was Rachmaninov and the CD did not dissapoint.
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious Music, 13 July 2009
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This review is from: Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes (Audio CD)
I am a classical buff and just love piano concertos Rachmaninoff being a favourite. Great to listen to whilst working or resting.
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2 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing but Excellent in Parts, 1 Sept. 2009
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This review is from: Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes (Audio CD)
Recording quallity cannot be faulted and the same is true for the playing. Provided that you are content to pick and choose the tracks to which you want to listen,then you will not be disappointed. If you are expecting to enjoy this CD from start to finish you may be disappointed. Some tracks are remarkable, others are boreing. More a work of reference than a performance.
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Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes
Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes by Rachmaninov (Audio CD - 2009)
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