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Rachmaninov: Solo Piano Works, A Window in Time CD
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Top Customer Reviews
They were originally played on an Ampico piano, a glorified pianola, which laid down each note onto a recording medium made from paper. Every smallest detail of velocity and force was captured minutely, and thereby a permanent record was made of some of the most intense piano playing in history was made, in the years before hi-fidelity audio recordings had been developed.
In the last few years, these recordings have been analysed in the tiniest detail, and this wealth of musical history has been unearthed and transcribed into the rather more state-of-the-art technology of the CD, and without a doubt this has been a hugely successful operation.
This CD contains the complete collection of the works that Rachmaninov laid down in this manner. Most of them are his own compositions, although a fair number are his own interpretations of the works of other composers. Notable among these are Rinsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumble-Bee" and a solidly performed version of "The Star-Spangled Banner".
There never was a pianist the likes of Rachmaninov, and it's doubtful that there will ever be again. It's a wonder that these performances exist - without them, this master's pianistic achievements would never have become available to us mere mortals. A must-buy for all fans of Rachmaninov.
Rachmaninoff was one of the greatest pianists of all time. If you want to hear what it would have been like to have Sergei playing for you in your living room, get this disc. The technological genius that went into transferring the old paper rolls onto new ones and playing them back on a purpose built Bosendorfer, deserves the highest accolades in itself, but wait till you hear the results... Incredible.
The playing itself proves to be fully up to expectation with superb clarity and articulation and a tremendous range of subtleties in touch. The nineteen tracks on this disc include twelve original compositions with the remaining tracks being arrangements made by Rachmaninov. There is not one piece that cannot be described as illuminating, not least the opening, and almost improvisatory, performance of the prelude in C sharp minor. This alone would be worth all the effort put into the project. It is particularly fascinating and instructive to be able hear Rachmaninov playing his own original compositions and thus giving what must be considered as definitive views on how the music was intended to be played. This is especially interesting when his own performance, as on this disc, is at variance with current performing practice such as in the prelude as mentioned above. On purely musical grounds therefore this disc is a veritable treasure trove.Read more ›
If you are seeking the ‘Rachmaninoff playing Rachmaninoff’ 78 recordings on the RCA Victor label transferred to CD (available from Amazon) then you need to look elsewhere because THOSE performances were recorded on primitive equipment with limited frequency response and limited dynamic range. They are noisy and they do not have any ‘go’ in them.
As you are obviously a fan of the great man’s fabulous masterpieces, on the two Telarc ‘A Window in Time’ CDs you will hear Rachmaninov performing his masterworks and the compositions of the greats on a Bosendorfer concert grand ‘reproducing piano’ - with FULL frequency response and FULL dynamic range.
You are probably wondering how it is possible to hear Rachmaninov - and not only Rachmaninov – it is also possible to hear Grieg; Strauss; Saint-Saens; Prokofiev; Scriabin; Mahler; Bartok; Stravinsky; Bizet; Granados; Debussy; Faure; Arrau; Serkin; Paderewski; Horowitz; Popper; Hoffman; Gershwin; Granger; Rubenstein and Hess - in full high fidelity, so permit me to explain.
In 1904 the German company Welte Mignon made an astonishing leap in technology and invented the world’s first ‘reproducing piano’ – a piano that shocked the world because THIS piano did not crudely ‘play the notes’ as instruments such as the ‘Pianola’ did.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
very good cd...rachmaninoff one of the great pian-ists...very good quality recording on here..much recomended to anyone..thanks..Published 15 months ago by shane
You have to hear this. It just grabs you by the soul and drags you back a hundred years. Close you eyes you are with 'the master'. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Andy c
Having a long dead piano virtuoso and composer playing in your living room in perfect fidelity is a luxury of our times, and even more so when he was gone before any decent... Read morePublished on 6 Jan. 2014 by Mario F. M. Santos
For lovers for Rachmaninov this is a must! Truly excellent piano playing of well known works. I bought this for my husband who was delighted with the CD and he has just... Read morePublished on 20 Mar. 2013 by Ann Morgan