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1. Rachmaninov plays and conducts
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Rachmaninov plays and conducts, vol.3
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Rachmaninov plays and conducts, vol.3

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Cat No: VVCD-00025
 
Number of CDs: 1
 

Rachmaninov plays and conducts, vol.3

Franz Listz
Hungarian Rhapsody No2 (Cadenza Rachmaninov)
Gnomenreigen

Fritz Kreisler - Rachmaninov
Liebesfreud
Liebeslied

Claude Debussy
Golliwog's Cakewalk

Moritz Moszkovsky
La Jongleuse

Ignatz Paderewsky
Menuet op. 14

George Bizet - Rachmaninov
Menuet (from "L'Arlesienne")

Camille Saint-Saens - Ziloti
The Swan

Edward Grieg
Elfin dance
Waltz op 12
Sonata for violin and piano
(F. Kreisler - violin)

Sergei Rachmaninov - piano

It's impossible to pick highlights from amongst these eight discs but let's try his Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 with Rachmaninov's own cadenza. There's some exceptional half pedal, perfectly audible in this 1919 acoustic, with swathes of colour and virtuosity, incredible glowering bass and a daredevil drama a-plenty. His Gnomenreigen grows inexorably to become all enveloping, his Kreisler transcription of Liebesfreud comes complete with thunderous rococo charm, bass extensions and an air of naughtiness and he teases Liebeslied similarly, not least the left hand line. He animates Debussy's Golliwog's Cakewalk with teasing rubati and fulsomeness and brings Scarlatti to bear on Paderewski's Minuet. His Chopin is full of freedom, metrical and, it must be said, textual. Not everyone will respond wholeheartedly to his playing, but even those who shy away from Rachmaninov's personality-rich playing will surely be captivated by something, by some detail or subtlety. The strata of tone colours and rubati of the Third Ballade, for instance. Or the lullaby-like E flat major Nocturne, with its unimpeachable trill, the tied bass notes and his control of piano. The F sharp major may have some idiosyncratic things amidst the magnificence of the decorative runs but, as so often with Rachmaninov, doubt is stilled; for all the personalisation, it makes sense. There's hardly any pedal in the Waltz in E flat major - the mechanism is under perfect clarity and control at a relatively sedate tempo (and hear the piano "laugh" so suggestively). For Rachmaninov, truly, each note has its meaning.

Jonathan Woolf

The full text of the review see on www.musicweb.uk.net/classrev

ADD 63'51''

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