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14 Reviews
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well, I'll be . . .
If Wang or Dudamel never make another recording in their lives, their reputations as engaged and communicative musicians have been made by this one. I listened to it right through and was riveted -- and, of course, it helped that the expressive worlds of the two concertos are so different. Rachmaninov's almost manic-depressive changes of tempo, melody, and rhythm within...
Published 13 months ago by Stanley Crowe

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing - Poor Balance
A disappointing live recording of both works.

There are moments of spirit and exuberance but these accounts of great piano concertos exhibit a poor understanding of the balance and structure. And the cover artwork is colourful - but I can't say anything good about this CD - and I'm normally very positive.

The orchestral balance is at times very poor...
Published 3 months ago by JOHN C. WESLEY-BARKER


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing - Poor Balance, 6 Jan. 2015
By 
JOHN C. WESLEY-BARKER "John Wesley-Barker" (Blandford Forum, Dorset) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3 / Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No 2 (Audio CD)
A disappointing live recording of both works.

There are moments of spirit and exuberance but these accounts of great piano concertos exhibit a poor understanding of the balance and structure. And the cover artwork is colourful - but I can't say anything good about this CD - and I'm normally very positive.

The orchestral balance is at times very poor. Timpani far to prominent, possibly from bad stick choice, and the clarinet seems to have a spot microphone at times. The opening of the Prokofiev is un-recognisable. There are moments in the soloists playing that do not occupy the same expressive space as the orchestra and disagreements over tempi in a number of places. The full orchestral tuttis sound forced and un-balanced and tonally distorted. The intricate Thalberg technique writing in the Prokofiev is fine technically but lacks the expressiveness demanded, all the notes are there, but there's inconsistency in the execution. Yuga Wang seems unsure of the internal balance of the part writing.

What I am concerned about here is that the raw energy of youthful performance is being promoted as something more important than the meaning of the music. That the music is serving the performers rather than the other way round. As both these works are tour-de-force.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Much too fast, 18 April 2015
This review is from: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3 / Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No 2 (Audio CD)
I like Miss Wang's solo work but she comes unstuck here with the Rachmaninov. Apart from a murky orchestral sound, the real issue here is that she is so keen to show off her virtuosity that she rushes the piece and doesn't let it breathe. The recording comes in at nearly five minutes faster than my favourite recording Ashkenazy with Ormandy. Calm down dear!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well, I'll be . . ., 15 Mar. 2014
By 
This review is from: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3 / Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No 2 (Audio CD)
If Wang or Dudamel never make another recording in their lives, their reputations as engaged and communicative musicians have been made by this one. I listened to it right through and was riveted -- and, of course, it helped that the expressive worlds of the two concertos are so different. Rachmaninov's almost manic-depressive changes of tempo, melody, and rhythm within the movements gave one a sense of how the formality of the classical concerto had been broken up. Expressive resources are not divided up by movement but within and through the movements are marshaled to create a kind of narrative that the soloist and orchestra have to guide our ears through. They succeed here because Wang and the orchestra seem highly responsive to one another, and Wang wonderfully submerges herself at times as part of the orchestral texture, so that when she surfaces, so to speak, the movement seems totally natural and part of an integrated progression. This was a live performance, and the sheer dexterity of the pianism is outstanding, and her ability to command the utmost delicacy, occasional humor, and the big splashy moments is quite amazing, especially when the sense of the integrity of the whole is preserved. For all that, almost my favorite part was the orchestral introduction to the second movement -- Dudamel and the orchestra play this with gripping expression, and it sets up the solo entrance marvelously. Just a great account.

Same with Prokofiev's Second. I see this as a creepy nocturne -- it's expressively less rich, the piano is deployed more percussively more often, and the sense of darkness and fear are never far away. The third movement wavers between a march and a dance, creepily both and neither, and the final movement is more of (or as much of) a scherzo as the designated scherzo. I wonder what Mussorgsky would have thought, because the feeling of "Night on the Bald Mountain" is lurking here, albeit in a post-Stravinsky accent. My favorite moment here is when, with tremendous power, the orchestra rises up to join the piano at the end of the first-movement cadenza -- it's like the Creature from the Black Lagoon! Come to think of it, Disney might have had a place for this in "Fantasia." Wang plays it as if she totally believes in it, and the orchestra -- whose winds, by the way, are stellar throughout -- is with her all the way. I would say that this is an indispensable recording.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I was rather disappointed with this CD, 14 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3 / Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No 2 (Audio CD)
I was rather disappointed with this CD. It received glowing comments from the Mail, which prompted me to buy it, but l felt it its content didn't live up to the hype.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wow, 19 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3 / Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No 2 (Audio CD)
Outstanding performance
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new star, 7 April 2014
By 
Mr. Christopher Harris "Chris in Brum" (Birmingham UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3 / Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No 2 (Audio CD)
Yuja Wang is a wonderful talent. Her technical skill is undoubted and given her looks she is bound to have a big career. However I think she has some way to go in being able to fill the music with the emotional feeling needed to make a great performance. This comes through on this CD in the Rachmaninov which doesn't quite catch fire. The Prokofiev is stronger and a fine performance.

This is still worth investigating but there are better versions especially of the Rachmaninov.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful playing, 5 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3 / Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No 2 (Audio CD)
Love this lady's playing. She demonstrates passion, sparkle and clarity in her music, very moving.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 31 July 2014
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This review is from: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3 / Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No 2 (Audio CD)
This CD of well liked music was delivered quickly
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 30 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3 / Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No 2 (Audio CD)
Too brilliant for words.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The wild child at work ?, 8 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3 / Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No 2 (Audio CD)
As an ardent admirer of this remarkable young pianist, I expected much ffrom this recording. It is a major addition to the discography of these two works and can be recommended wholeheartedly
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