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Rachmaninov: The Piano Concertos / Paganini Rhapsody

4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

Price: £15.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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  • Rachmaninov: The Piano Concertos / Paganini Rhapsody
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Product details

  • Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Michael Francis
  • Composer: Sergei Rachmaninov
  • Audio CD (11 Mar. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B00B2TTVNU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,135 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. 1. Vivace
  2. 2. Andante
  3. 3. Allegro vivace
  4. 1. Allegro ma non tanto
  5. 2. Intermezzo (Adagio)
  6. 3. Finale (Alla breve)

Disc: 2

  1. 1. Moderato
  2. 2. Adagio sostenuto
  3. 3. Allegro scherzando
  4. 1. Allegro vivace (Alla breve)
  5. 2. Largo
  6. 3. Allegro vivace
  7. Introduction & Variation 1
  8. Theme
  9. Variation 2
  10. Variation 3
  11. Variation 4
  12. Variation 5
  13. Variation 6
  14. Variation 7
  15. Variation 8
  16. Variation 9
  17. Variation 10
  18. Variation 11
  19. Variation 12
  20. Variation 13
  21. Variation 14
  22. Variation 15
  23. Variation 16
  24. Variation 17
  25. Variation 18
  26. Variation 19
  27. Variation 20
  28. Variation 21
  29. Variation 22
  30. Variation 23
  31. Variation 24

Product Description

DEC 4784890; DECCA - Inghilterra; Classica Orchestrale per Piano

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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Valentina is not just a pretty girl in a pretty dress as some reviewers have stated. I am a classically trained musician so I am indeed familiar with many other recordings of these works, but this is something quite extraordinary. I don’t usually bother writing reviews of all the CD’s I buy because I listen to so much music and buy so many CDs that I just haven’t got time, but this CD is so special that I needed to add voice to those in support of Ms Lisitsa’s work. She has been true to the spirit of the composer, there’s none of the brash heavy, inappropriate interpretations here; this is lyrical, expressive, emotional and sublime romanticism undertaken with an extraordinary, intelligent technique. It arrived this morning and I’ve listened over and over………….weeping in many places (2nd movement of no 2 is just so sublime). I will buy this for all my friends for Christmas because I want to share this experience with everyone AND I will certainly buy more Valentina recordings as soon as they become available, she is a very special musician.
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this is my 4th set of Rach PCs - it's also up at the top - sometimes it's the brass section and that fast pumping rhythm - sometimes it's the isolated piano part and Valentina's timing and phrasing and accents - sometimes it's the percussion section (you can hear things that aren't audible in other recordings) - and yet it's not the best engineered - audiophiles long for the 3 mics and set the level and don't mess with it - still - I have really enjoyed this - worth every penny - even if you have others
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In the linear notes, Lisitsa points out that in Russia, performances of Rachmaninov's works are butchered by being played too loud and too fast, and makes the same mistake here, at least as far as the tempo is concerned. The 5 pieces feel rushed and because of this clumsy, and I discern no rapport between the soloist and the orchestra. Moreover, the Decca 'tree' clearly never made it into the studio, for the recording to my ears is flat.

Mention elsewhere is made of the Ashkenazy-Previn recordings, which I have, but for pace, performance and sheer audio quality I would opt for the Ashkenazy-Haitink discs recorded with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, with Andrew Cornall and Colin Moorfoot supervising. These too are Decca recordings and they are stunning. And here, the relationship between soloist and orchestra is so evident in the playing that it lifts the pieces onto a completely different plane.
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Rachy project recorded at the Abbey road studio all paid by herself before she made her Decca Classics debut which had come on a long journey and already became a legend of classic music scene. This CD set was materialised as she realised her debut by the Decca at last. Although she is a Bösendorfer player as well as Rachmaninoff, she used the Steinway Model D this time. But she must be particular about the sounds recorded at every second knowing well about the peculiarity of the extraordinary piano.

It is because all paid by herself, articulation can be listened here is of herself even though she exchanged interpretative ideas with Michael Francis conductor of this CD recording beforehand. Norman Lebrecht commended the First and Forth. He said "she teases out subtle shifts that are commonly blown away in a blizzard of notes. The First is palyed with a delicately calibrated rise of dynamic tension and the Fourth with an empathetic and profoundly moving sense of irredeemable exile." I totally agree with him. I think the Third is the highlight. Although it is a quicker tempo than usual, she keeps full of propulsive power thoughout every phrases which is convincing enough to move us deeply. All is due to her miraculous pianism. Additionally I'm not always satisfied with balance between orchestra and piano, e.g. third movement of the Third, around 10:00 of this CD (around 10:38 in the recording of Ashkenazy), clarinet makes conspicuous noisy melody which disturbs attention to the piano. The balance of this CD recording is perfect.

This is far from commercialism which produces something sweet and harmless. Virtuosity achieved here must be once in a handred years. I can say that nobody will outperforme her for a while. Goethe said "Something which seems demonish should't be idea, but rather natural. It must be by chance but at the same time completely inevitable." This is truely a masterpiece and audiophile of this century. Must-buy.
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Electric performances from this brilliant pianist. See her You tube clips practising the solo parts to get a flavour. She also tells the story of the risks she took in funding and producing this. Even better - go and see her play the piano live - outstanding.
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Get it -she is a genius. I saw her performing on the honky tonk piano at St Pancras Station and despite its appalling condition she could get amazing sounds. I just had to go and buy three of her albums and have not regretted any purchase. There is something fresh, elevating, and passionate about her playing.
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There are so many outstanding solo pianists at the moment that new superlatives are hard to find. Let me just say that the only improvement possible would be to hear her live or, failing that, see her performance on DVD. It is a great asset to have all four piano concertos in one collection.
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Format: Audio CD
The obvious comparison (to me!) here is with another modern "live" set - Stephen Hough's magnificent recordings of 10 years ago now. In the final analysis I can't say Lisitsa quite surpasses him overall, but she plays fabulously throughout and I am definitely a convert! The highlights for me are the 1st and 3rd concerti, which are played with an unbridled bravura - in particular, her "ossia" cadenza in the 3rd is incredible - possibly the best I've ever heard. Her rendition of variation 18 in the Rhapsody is truly beautiful - she knows how to play the magic moments! The only concerto in which I would clearly favour Hough is the 2nd, where Lisitsa doesn't match the sheer rhythmic precision and forward drive that make the Hough/Dallas/Litton combination so exciting. My advice: buy both sets, and enjoy!
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