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on 6 December 2012
Wow... what to make of this. I own fifteen different recordings of this magnificent concerto on CD but am always on the look out for more.

Technically, it's wonderful... but right from the first note you'll certainly notice there's something quite different about this performance compared to most you'll have heard before. If you thought Martha Argerich got through this piece quickly, prepare to hear it turned up a notch!

Lisitsa brings everything that I love about classical music to her rendition of this piece in offering a totally fresh, new and electrifying interpretation in which she plays the chordal (ossia) cadenza in the first movement, in a manner quite incomparable to any other pianist (in a good way).

This may not be for everyone, and indeed I do prefer a slower and more complete take such as that by Yefim Bronfman or Evgeny Kissin, but its recordings such as this which keep the piece fresh.

For the current price of £1.99, you can't afford not to have this in your collection.
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on 31 July 2013
...the cadenza was too fast. I don't doubt Ms. Lisitsa's technical skill at all, but I do find her musical interpretation questionable here. I don't have a problem with the rest of the concerto being played a little briskly, but the cadenza just felt too rushed; it loses the atmosphere and I'm quite sure means she made far more mistakes than if she'd played just a touch slower.
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on 31 December 2013
I agree with other reviewers that this is taken at such a pace that the melody is lost in some places. Don't know why the conductor didn't slow it down for the sake of the orchestra Quality of the Decca recording is of course excellent.
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on 8 December 2012
At the first hearing I confess I was left breathless and on edge by the vivid tempo of the first movement where Valentina exceeds Martha Argerich's controversial pace, and all but matches it in the third movement. (Check the respective track times for each artist - Valentina's are shorter). I found myself distractedly wondering if she had a train to catch, or was paying for studio time by the second. I don't want to be distracted like this, I much prefer to be sucked into the passionate swirl and tidal wash of Rachmaninov, as well as to drift around the misty melancholic oxbow sweeps in his musical river. Instead I became preoccupied with whether the soloist and orchestra would be perfunctorily tossed out of their white water raft...

However that was strictly first impressions. After a third listen, once my brain had adjusted to the Olympic style of attack I began to marvel at the emerging musicality of this distinctive and original performance. It's all here, whether it be delicate stacatto tracery, limpid lyricism or virtuosic crescendos that you seek. Thanks to that fabulous Bosendorfer grand (it is, isn't it?) and Valentina's courage to really give it its fully pedalled head in the first movement cadenza, the reverberating soundworld in my headphones temporarily flipped from oceanic to inter-galactic.

Great, greater, greatest performance of Rach 3? Listen and decide for yourselves. I simply feel privileged to be alive and still kicking at a time when a performance of this calibre is released. Moreover (not that it really matters) it currently comes at fraction of the price of the benchmark Argerich version. I for one can't wait for the rest of Valentina's 'Rachmaninov project'.
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on 1 September 2013
I've always been a fan of Valentina Lisistsa. I love this recording! I also like Van Cliburn's recording <3 <3
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on 12 September 2013
This is my favourite piece of classical music, and this is a superb recording. Lisitsa plays with passion and skill.
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on 9 December 2012
We have it every way - a few of us watched Valentina record this with the LSO at Abbey Road. Before she began, the orchestra were quick to express their anticipation with a cheer, clapping and whistles because they'd already "discovered" this amazing pianist through their Rach #2 recording with her (also recently released). I automatically buy her recordings - they are long awaited. Valentina is taking her rightful place as a major contributor among classical recording artists. I already have the Argerich version of this concerto and now I have Valentina's, only right and proper !
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on 13 December 2012
I've been following Lisitsa's career for some years - since she was but a glimmer in the eye of YouTube. I was lucky enough to be at her Royal Albert Hall debut earlier this year, and I've been eagerly awaiting the release of her Rachmaninov concerti. I haven't been disappointed. I'm not sure she brings anything very new to this well-known work, but her playing is very fine; expressive, full of dynamic fire and energy, and because it's extremely well-recorded one can hear elements that have been missed in other releases. I look forward to the remainder of the set.
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on 16 December 2012
Valentina Lisitsa has again produced a wonderful recording of Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No.3. She certainly has an infinity with his music. Can thoroughly recommend this CD.
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on 28 January 2013
A storming performance by a magnificent talent. She is probably the best pianist around. This download is very good value
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