Now available on SACD, this benchmark recording of Rachmaninov's two best-loved piano concertos can be heard in all its splendour for the first time. The CDs of the Mercury Living Presence were notable for their transparency, but also for their rather strident sonorities. By contrast, this three-channel SACD offers warm, mellow sound that seems to fill the whole room. Rachmaninov's lush textures pose no problem for the new format. The soloist, Byron Janis, enjoyed tremendous popularity in the 1960s as the first Western pianist to breach the Iron Curtain and perform in Moscow. Unfortunately, his career was cut short by arthritis.