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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 5 October 2013
This set still remains arguably the best set of Rachmaninov Concertos ever recorded. The chemistry between Ashkenazy and Previn is electrifying, and the orchestral playing by the LSO, at the peak of their powers, completes the package. The Kingsway Hall recording has a tendency to slight over brightness at times, but this doesn't spoil the enjoyment from start to finish. Strangely enough, the vinyl edition of these recordings had a tendency towards dullness, so the present incarnation is welcome. When these performances were first issued, HiFi news gave the set an 'A*:1*' rating, which would still stand today.
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on 9 February 2016
I can't say I was massively overwhelmed by this CD as unfortunately the concertos are now so familiar that there initial impact
when they were first heard has been lost a little with time, but the pairing of Askenazy and Previn works very well.
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on 14 June 2001
This is Ashkenazy at his very finest! Rachmaninov himself would have been proud to own a copy of this recording which illustrates the finest aspects of his piano concertos. When required to play slow, the finesse is unparalleled, and the world renowned cadenza (in Number 3) is played to perfection. When the CD stopped I was compelled to put it on again and hear the masters (Ashkenazy and Previn) at work bringing beautiful and timeless life into some of the most challenging music around. This is a must for any true music lovers. Move over Marth Argereich, Byron Janis or Sviatoslav Richter, this is the most accurate recording available. (ignore less cultured opinions!) Congratulations Ashkenazy and Previn!
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on 27 October 2015
I'd only listened to No. 2 before hearing the third at the Leeds piano competition this year. Have thoroughly enjoyed both the playing and the concertos themselves, they have given me many hours of enjoyable listening and admiration for Ashkenazy's playing.
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on 14 June 2001
I am a great fan of Rachmaninov and his piano works are some of the greatest ever written for the instrument. After I listened to this cd for the first time I thought Ashkenazy's interpretation was wonderful, especially the 3rd piano concerto. Ashkenazy takes his time in some places so the listener may appreciate fully the lovely melodius style in which Rachmaninov composes. The cadenza of the first movement I found was particularly impressive as Ashkenazy brings out the melody, where as many performers merely bang out the chords. Rachmaninov's grandson said Ashkenazy's was the best recordings he'd heard of the composers pieces and I am more than inclined to agree. Despite his small hands Ashkenazy shows more flair and technical ability than any other performer I've heard, even those of Janis and Richter.
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on 12 March 2015
Went to see this artist late sixties playing this work a favourite brought back some memories brilliant just sit back close your eyes and journey on wards, I have this work also on "78" vynil box set by Earl Wild pianoforte.
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on 30 January 2016
had this years ago on a decca 3 vinyl L.P. boxed set. now, after 37 ish years I found it again and remembered how much i love this version. Big plus, just after ordering it i got a free download to keep, saved me ripping it, like two for the price of one. Just a great system.
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on 16 August 2009
From the moment the first notes emerged through my loudspeakers, I was aware that I was listening to one of the masterpieces of performance.
So many words will have been written about this set of interpretations that combine the writing genius of Rachmaninov with the performing genius of Vladimir Ashkenazy and the glorious orchestral skills of the L.S.O. under the watchful, detailed baton of Previn, that any further analytic comment would only be an act of showing off.
Suffice it to say that the experience of listening to the whole collection was sublime. Sure, the ADD recording was not 100% up to today's standard in one or two barely audible parts, but that only added to the sense of history. After all the original recording was mastered by the mighty Decca studios in 1972 and although things move on in 37 years there is no guarantee that the most modern is the best.
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on 29 June 2009
When it comes to the award for the best piano composer of all time, Sergei Rachmaninov takes the prize every time, and this CD tells you why. First and foremost, the music itself is superb, second to none, so incredibly moving, and the piano work is just genius. The quality of this recording is, to my mind, very good, and though i know this will be disagreed, I do think that Ashkenazy plays this very well indeed, repeated virtuoistic performances, and the orchestra is of a very high quality as well. I would strongly recommend this to anyone, as this really is music by possibly the best composer of the 20th Century, especially of piano music, in my view.
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on 3 October 2000
The Rachmaninov concertos place great demands on the pianist especially the 3rd Concerto. Askenazy is the first to admit that his hands are rather small for a pianist and this shows. Askenazy is a enormous talent, his Prokofiev recording (also on Decca) are second to none, and this shows in Concertos 1 and 4. In the 2nd Concerto, however, Askenazy is rather more average. The pace at which he plays is at least consistant but I do not feel it gels together quite as well as in the other concertos. The piano and the orchestra are slightly out, although the awesome Previn should take some of the blame too. While the 2nd Concerto is perfomed well any serious piano fan would do better to buy one of the recordings by either Byron Janis or Sviatoslav Richter, they are in a different class altogether. Finally, the most technical of all the concertos (perhaps by any composer): Concerto No. 3. Frankly, it is poor. Askenazy's pace is stageringly slow for this concerto and, at times, one is deluded into thinking that the whole thing is going to grind to a halt, one almost wishes it would. This is not Rachmaninov at his best, this is not Askenazy at his best. This fantastic piece of music is wasted on Askenazy and Previn and for that reason I would not recommend it at all. If you want to hear how it should be done may I recommend one of the numerous Martha Argereich interpretations, Vladimir Horowitz's 1951 recording or the composer himself. Askenazy is one of the greatest pianists of his generation, to hear his 'Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini' is a joy. How he and Previn are capable of such 'noise' is beyond me. If you want to hear classic Askenazy then buy any of his Chopin or Prokiev recordings, if you want to hear classic Rachmaniniv then you cannot go wrong with Rachmaninov, Horowitz and Richter. LWS.
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