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Rachmaninov Piano Concertos 1 & 4

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Label
Catalogue numberBIS-CD-975
Release date2012-05-01
Discs1
Orig. sample rate44100 Hz, 20-bit

Klassik Heute 9/10/10 November 2012.

The unique combination of ‘Russian’ melancholy and urbane elegance, exuberant melodies and opulent harmonies has given Sergei Rachmaninov's Second and Third Piano Concertos an undying popularity. These were the works that made Rachmaninov famous, both as performer and composer, and which became the yardstick against which his other works were measured.
Less frequently programmed are the two concertos that frame them. Piano Concerto No.1 was written in 1890–91 while Rachmaninov was still a student at the Moscow Conservatory, but didn’t become widely known before extensive revisions in 1917. This was shortly before the composer left Russia for good as a consequence of the revolution, and during his first years of exile, Rachmaninov kept busy as a touring performer – often of his own works – with very little time for composing. Only in 1926 did he launch into a new large-scale composition: the Fourth Piano Concerto. With the audience expecting a work in the vein of the two preceding concertos, the first performance was not a success, however. The work was criticized for being difficult, and the lack of those ‘big tunes’ that had become a Rachmaninov trademark was bemoaned. The self-critical composer immediately started revising the work, and later withdrew it. He returned to it only in 1941 when he produced the version which is usually performed today.
After the disappointment of the Fourth Concerto another long silence ensued; not until 1934 did Rachmaninov venture to compose another large-scale work, the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op.43. This time the reception was enthusiastic and the Paganini Rhapsody remains one of his most popular works, in which the famous A minor theme of Paganini’s 24th Caprice for solo violin is made to yield breathtaking results. Noriko Ogawa has previously released the Piano Concertos Nos 2 and 3, with the same conductor and orchestra – a disc which received a warm reception, for instance in Fanfare: ‘Magnificent, beautifully refined performances… with remarkably sophisticated support provided by Arwel Hughes and the excellent Malmö orchestra’.
 
Extra material for download
 
  Piano Concerto No.1 in F sharp minor, Op.1 29:00
01 I. Vivace 14:04 $ 2.53 USD
02 II. Andante 06:21 $ 1.14 USD
03 III. Allegro vivace 08:35 $ 1.55 USD
 
  Piano Concerto No.4 in G minor, Op.40 27:21
04 I. Allegro vivace 10:03 $ 1.81 USD
05 II. Largo 07:17 $ 1.31 USD
06 III. Allegro vivace 10:01 $ 1.80 USD
 
  Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op.43 25:06
07 Introduction. Allegro vivace 00:09 $ 0.03 USD
08 Variation 1. (Precedente) 00:19 $ 0.06 USD
09 Tema. L'istesso tempo 00:18 $ 0.05 USD
10 Variation 2. L'istesso tempo 00:19 $ 0.06 USD
11 Variation 3. L'istesso tempo 00:25 $ 0.08 USD
12 Variation 4. Più vivo 00:32 $ 0.10 USD
13 Variation 5. Tempo precedente 00:29 $ 0.09 USD
14 Variation 6. L'istesso tempo 01:02 $ 0.19 USD
15 Variation 7. Meno mosso, a tempo moderato 01:13 $ 0.22 USD
16 Variation 8. Tempo I 00:35 $ 0.11 USD
17 Variation 9. L'istesso tempo 00:32 $ 0.10 USD
18 Variation 10. 00:54 $ 0.16 USD
19 Variation 11. Moderato 01:44 $ 0.31 USD
20 Variation 12. Tempo di Minuetto 01:22 $ 0.25 USD
21 Variation 13. Allegro 00:28 $ 0.08 USD
22 Variation 14. L'istesso tempo 00:44 $ 0.13 USD
23 Variation 15. Più vivo scherzando 01:11 $ 0.21 USD
24 Variation 16. Allegretto 01:51 $ 0.33 USD
25 Variation 17. 01:59 $ 0.36 USD
26 Variation 18. Andante cantabile 03:04 $ 0.55 USD
27 Variation 19. A tempo vivace 00:33 $ 0.10 USD
28 Variation 20. Un poco più vivo 00:37 $ 0.11 USD
29 Variation 21. Un poco più vivo 00:27 $ 0.08 USD
30 Variation 22. Un poco più vivo (alla breve) 01:39 $ 0.30 USD
31 Variation 23. L'istesso tempo 00:53 $ 0.16 USD
32 Variation 24. A tempo un poco meno mosso 01:47 $ 0.32 USD
 
  Album total 81:27
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