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Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic recording endures and stands up well to the test of time and increased competition, 8 May 2013
This review is from: Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 1-4 (Audio CD)
These recordings made in 1970-71, have been basic staple recommendations in the catalogues since they were made. Since then they have reappeared in various forms but this latest remastered and budget priced version must now be the best version of these recordings yet.

Ashkenazy and Previn clearly developed a mutually satisfying musical empathy in the 70's and this was particularly apparent in these concerto recordings and also the two-piano works such as the suites and Symphonic Dances.

Both have also made notable recordings of the symphonies with the set by Ashkenazy being the more consistent and 'Russian' of the two. Ashkenazy first made his name as a Rachmaninov pianist with his recording of the third concerto with Fistoulari. That remains a very special disc. The later set with Haitink did not have the sparkle of the earlier recordings, reliable though it was.

Since those days there have been many more fine complete sets of these concertos. Those by Lugansky and Andsnes stand out among the recent entries. I personally find them far more satisfying than the set by Hough, digitally spectacular as finger-work though those may be. I eventually passed them on to a friend of mine and have not regretted that.

I would suggest that the set discussed here by Ashkenazy and Previn is a very hard act to match let alone beat and, as such, it certainly deserves to continue being listed as a main consideration for purchase. No one recording of such core repertoire can ever claim to be the 'best' or 'definitive' of course, but Ashkenazy's set with Previn can certainly claim to be one of the best to which I would add Lugansky and Andsnes plus several single concertos by other pianists who have had particular individual successes. The joys of collecting .....!
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