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Serguei Rachmaninoff

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


My Classical Notes

March 18

Khatia Plays Rachmaninov

My Classical NotesWhat can I say? Yes, I write often about Khatia Buniatishvili, be it about her concerts, or about her recordings. Today I want to share with you Khatia’s recording of music by Rachmaninov: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30 Performed by Khatia Buniatishvili (piano), with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Paavo Järvi conducting. A highlight of Khatia’s recording career where she reunites with Paavo Järvi for her first orchestral recording in 4 years. Rachmaninoff’s epic, dramatic Piano Concertos 2 and 3 are rarely combined on a single CD. These are two blockbuster concertos of the late-romantic repertoire – especially the 2nd concerto as it has featured in many famous movies such as Billy Wilder’s The Seven Year Itch (1955) or Clint Eastwoods’ film Hereafter (2010). The 3rd concerto was prominently featured in Shine (1996) with David Helfgott. This album was recorded with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, at Rudolfinum, Dvorak Hall, Prague. Khatia was invited to perform the track ‘Kaleidoscope’ on Coldplay’s latest release ‘A Head Full of Dreams’. Here is the Adagio from the piano concerto number 3 by Sergei RChmaninov, as performed by Khatia Buniatishvili.

Guardian

March 22

Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3; Mozart: Piano Concerto K488 CD review – technical issues mar superb playing

Sokolov/BBC Philharmonic/Tortelier/Mahler CO/Pinnock (Deutsche Grammophon)Like buses, three new recordings of Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto have appeared at once. The most startling of them, with Grigory Sokolov as the soloist, is in fact not exactly new; Sokolov no longer plays concertos or records in studios, and this performance dates back to the 1995 Proms in London, where he made one of his rare British appearances with the BBC Philharmonic under Yan-Pascal Tortelier. His account of Mozart’s A major Concerto K488 is from a concert, too, at the Salzburg festival a decade later.Sokolov’s Rachmaninov playing is immense and, in its mix of supreme fluency and ardent intensity, easily bears comparison with the best versions available on disc. His account of K488 is just as compelling; the opening piano solo in the slow movement is as fine a demonstration as any of how less can mean so much more in a performance. Unfortunately, though, the release suffers from a major technical issue. After Sokolov’s titanic performance of the first-movement cadenza, the piano is audibly never the same again; the one note that is badly out of tune becomes more and more intrusive, especially in lyrical passages. Continue reading...






Serguei Rachmaninoff
(1873 – 1943)

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1 April 1873 – 28 March 1943) was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. Rachmaninoff is widely considered one of the finest pianists of his day and, as a composer, one of the last great representatives of Romanticism in Russian classical music. Early influences of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, and other Russian composers gave way to a thoroughly personal idiom that included a pronounced lyricism, expressive breadth, structural ingenuity, and a tonal palette of rich, distinctive orchestral colors. The piano is featured prominently in Rachmaninoff's compositional output. He made a point of using his own skills as a performer to explore fully the expressive possibilities of the instrument. Even in his earliest works he revealed a sure grasp of idiomatic piano writing and a striking gift for melody.



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