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Rachmaninov : Preludes Op.23 & Moments musicaux
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Rachmaninov : Preludes Op.23 & Moments musicaux

3 April 2006 | Format: MP3

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 5 Jan. 2001
  • Release Date: 3 April 2006
  • Label: Warner Classics International
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:05:04
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001F424R2
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 136,131 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This disc from 2000 clearly announced to the waiting world that a new and notable exponent of Rachmaninov had arrived. The disc fully justifies the expectation which preceded it and fortunately the recording quality does the performances good service being full ranges and sonorous.

Lugansky is possessed of considerable technical resources which enables him to approach Rachmaninov's interpretive demands without apparent technical compromise. That impression is reinforced by the fine DVD he made at the Roque d'Antheron which ends with Rachmaninov of definitive bravura. Lugansky's approach to Rachmaninov favours the darker colours which can be brought out in performance. He favoured the same range of expression in his admired set of Chopin Etudes so it would be fair to suggest that this may be part of his natural character. The preludes and Moments Musicaux on this disc give him ample opportunity to explore the 'dark side' of Rachmaninov, and bearing in mind what we know about Rachmaninov's own character, this emphasis seems to be completely justified.

On this disc Lugansky presents the earlier opus 3 set of the preludes preceded by the famous opus 3/2 prelude. These are all superb performances, with much atmospheric empathy as outlined above. These preludes match the best of the available alternatives and it is unfortunate for collectors that he has never completed the set with the later opus 32 preludes. Instead he performs the opus 16 Moments Musicaux, which although relatively early works, are still readily identifiable as inhabiting the same emotional and sound worlds that Rachmaninov made his own. These too are given uniformly fine performances.
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Format: Audio CD
This CD show's the colossal technician of a great pianist with a great talent!!
I know his very good CD from Chopin etuds and I think Nikolai Lugansky is much bether playing piano from Russian composers, because he has the great school of Russian musicians. Like his former mentor ( Nikolayeva )said there are already those who see him as a vital part of the grand Russian line and I think they are right.
If you want to know a litle of the great Russian Musician Sergey Rachmaninov, buy this CD.
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A man at home.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9844cc90) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x985499f0) out of 5 stars Fabulous recording, a would-be classic in the Rachmaninoff discography 25 Jun. 2011
By Alexander Arsov - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I simply cannot believe that this recording has but a single review on Amazon! If it is not already a classic, it will certainly become one. At least it should.

Nikolay Lugansky (b. 1972) is that rare type of pianist whose technique is prodigious but it never stands in the way of mature musicianship; the latter is quite amazing considering that he was but 28 years old at the time of this recording. The sheer drive and crispness of Lugansky's rendition of the G minor prelude (Op. 23 No. 5) blows completely away Ashkenazy's cautious recording on DECCA; he is also more dashing than his illustrious predecessor in other more explicitly virtuoso preludes such as Op. 23 Nos. 2 and 7, though his interpretation of the famous C sharp minor prelude (Op. 3 No. 2) is not quite as majestic. The amazing thing about Lugansky is that he is impeccable at all fronts. He never rushes or rapes the music, his tempi are perfect and his sense for the delicate nuances of Rachmaninoff's piano music seems unerring. The most lyrical among the preludes here - Nos. 1, 4 and 10 - come out every bit as tender and poetic, full of wistful melancholia, as they do under Ashkenazy's fingers. In short, this is a truly stupendous rendition of Rachmaninoff's 10 Preludes Op. 23 and the famous Prelude Op. 3 No. 2: technical and musical tour de force of which I know no analog in these pieces.

Too bad that Lugansky didn't record the 13 Preludes Op. 32 for this might have become a perfect alternative to Ashkenazy's complete set on DECCA. Still, there is a nice compensation. Rachmaninoff's six Musical Moments Op. 16 are fairly early compositions (they date from 1896 when the composer was but 23) and they are certainly uneven. But there are at least three masterpieces among them, and Lugansky's performances, I guarantee, will knock your socks off. Nos. 2 and 4 are broadly very similar; both require a left hand of inhuman independence and an overall virtuosity that truly transcends any technical difficulties; Lugansky delivers the goods with gusto. He is no less spectacular conveying the indescribable sadness of No. 3, one of the most shattering pieces Rachmaninoff ever composed.

Fortunately, the sound is every bit as terrific as the playing - a rare occasion indeed. Recorded in 2000 in the Teldec studios in Berlin, this is a disc that may boast, not just a great dynamic range and exemplary clarity, but also a fine balance and a bass of remarkable depth. Definitely one of the finest Steinway on record I have ever heard, quite on par with, though very different than, Ashkenazy's sound on DECCA (who doesn't play on Steinway, incidentally). It might well be a coincidence but Arcadi Volodos' recent Liszt recording was also made in the same studios. May more pianists record at this place, it seems to help producing a marvellous imitation of a live sound.

Unfortunately, it seems that the career of Nikolay Lugansky has not progressed as fabulously since 2000 as this disc strongly suggests it should have. He has recorded a great deal of Rachmaninoff, including a set of concertos not nearly as fine as his preludes, and quite a bit of rather fascinating Chopin, including a stunning complete etudes on Erato in the same glorious sound as the present recording, but also some rather controversial recordings of other pieces; his Beethoven is indifferent, his Liszt appears to be even worse. Rachmaninoff's solo piano music, it seems, in Lugansky's forte, yet he has recorded very little of it during the last decade. Pity. However, his early recording (1992) of Rachmaninoff's complete etudes is difficult to find but well worth searching, for it is quite an achievement for a lad of 20. The original edition (by same obscure fellows Challenge Classics) is a bit too expensive, but Brilliant have reissued the recording at a very reasonable price (though coupled with Marietta Petkova's timid preludes).

Anyway, whatever the vicissitudes of Lugansky's career and the vagaries of his artistic inclinations, this particular recording for Erato still remains an outstanding achievement that easily ranks among the finest renditions on record of Rachmaninoff's first 11 preludes and all of his Musical Moments. Such technical prowess coupled with so fine a musicianship, and splendidly recorded at that, is not something the piano lover often finds on record, even today in the era of digital wonders. The only thing Lugansky can, occasionally, be accused of is imitation of Ashkenazy in terms of interpretation. Well, he might have chosen a much worse example. If individuality means messing up Rachmaninoff's preludes as Weissenberg does on RCA, I will pass.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98549fd8) out of 5 stars Benchmark Performances with 24 bit Digital Sound 15 Feb. 2012
By Carl Armstrong - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When Sviatoslav Richter didnt record all of the Rachmaninoff 24 Preludes or 17 Etudes Tableaux,he left a gap in the music world that would probably never be filled until now. Lugansky, recorded here with 24 bit digital technology, has the technique, vivid imagination, and uncanny ability to completely identify with the composers meticulous editing, and with hands large enough to play it that way, now doing so with the full benefit of state of the art sound engineering technology in the demonstration level category.

One of the secrets that set Richter apart, was that his hands were large enough to play the inner melodies distinctly, clearly, and legato, while they are surrounded by dozens of other notes being played at lightening speed, non legato, all without the use of the sustaining pedal(Rachmaninoff also incorporates these inner melodies in slower passages as well, once again requiring large hands so the inner voicings will not have to be muffled by the sustaining pedal, hear track 5 "Andante Cantabile" in D major).

Hear for example the Preludes in B flat major "Maestoso" (track 3) or the one in C minor "Allegro" (track 8) or from the Moments Musicaux "Allegretto" in e flat minor (track 13) or "Presto" in e minor (track 15), Lugansky plays it with that same Richter magic, only now we have state of the art sound.Then there is the final prelude "Largo" (track 11)and the final track on the disc "Maestoso" both of which require massive chords that must be played simultaneously and not broken apart like most other pianists do.

Lugansky is more than a great virtuoso.He is setting the standard of artistic excellence that puts this recording on a very special level.His effortless mastery of the Moments Musicaux both musically and technically leaves all the competition in the shade.Nicolai Lugansky is the foremost living interpreter of Rachmaninoffs music, walking in the footsteps of the immortal Sviatoslav Richter, but with the added benefit of state of the art 24 bit digital sound technology, which even though all I have is a $90.00 Sony Stereo system,(Sony MHC-EC55 Mini Hi Fi Component System) makes the piano sound like its right in the living room.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x987a48f4) out of 5 stars truly appreciating classical music 12 Dec. 2008
By Michael S. - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Rachmaninov as a composer is pushing the boundaries of romanticism. his compositions are complex and dark. if you've never heard of Rachmaninov before, then you must really appreciate classical piano to understand his preludes and musical moments.
Lugansky has a facility, i think, most accomplished pianists wish to achieve. this really speaks volumes on how well Lugansky plays the piano. this album has the best interpretations, in my opinion. i think 'musically' it even surpasses some of Rachmaninov's own recordings. these pieces are interpreted so beautifully, it brings out its dark aura and longing melodies. if you like classical piano, you have to buy this album.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9854a30c) out of 5 stars Now Part of a Budget-Priced 9CD Box Set 11 May 2013
By J Scott Morrison - Published on
Format: Audio CD
If you're interested in Nikolai Lugansky -- and who wouldn't be; he's one of the finest pianists to emerge in the last twenty years -- you can get this disc as part of a 9CD box set at a super-budget price: Nikolai Lugansky. Check out this amazing collection of Lugansky playing Chopin, Beethoven, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev.

Scott Morrison
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9854a4bc) out of 5 stars Some pieces are done really well...some totally miss... 13 Jan. 2013
By C. Jack - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Lugansky is one artist to study if you are playing Rach. I found his performance of one of the Op 23 Preludes on YouTube and immediately wanted that piece. It was masterful. Although I like Richter's ending better, I liked Nikolai's delivery better.

I agree with the others...that the Moments Musicaux are nicely done here. However, not every piece on this album is good. An example is Prelude in C Sharp Minor. I wonder why so many artists simply cannot play this so it says something. I still think I like Liberace's version the best...and I haven't heard that for over 40 years.

I'll look for other Lugansky Rachmininov albums...since he seems to have a penchant for Rach.
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