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Thread: Rachmaninov - Piano Concerti (Recommendation)

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidsannderson View Post
    I joined specificly to give you guys my reccomendation. This may be my only post since you often focus on post-ww1 composers and I don't want to to comment on them until I have much more experience with them, which I might never have- I love my 19th-century, Debussy/Stravinsky-era and Baroque composers Soooooo much, but who knows....
    Anyway, I reccomend Rachmaninoff's own recordings.
    First, and most importantly- these performances may change your life. Really.
    second, it is the composer himself.
    3rd, he is maybe the greatest pianist in history.
    finally, the sound. I know there is hiss in the background, but the Presence of the music... Oh. My. God. It feels like Rachmaninoff, the piano and the entire Philadelphia Orchestra is two feet away... or less!
    And the way Rachmaninoff and the Orchestra perform..... Wow. Seriously, maybe my favorite recording of anything, including Led Zeppelin and the Bohm/Birgit Nilsson Tristan.

    Just my two cents' worth.

    Do stay with us, always nice hearing new opinions.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pugg View Post
    Do stay with us, always nice hearing new opinions.
    Thank you, I'm sure I will comment occasionally. This is one of my favorite forums to read.
    Mostly I just wanted to send MYSELF a message, to protect me against saying something foolish about post-ww1 composers or the non-Mozart Classical Style (excluding Beethoven's era, he's a Romantic to me.) Sometimes I get jealous of all the attention modern composers get, as opposed to my beloved Romantics (including Beethoven and Mozart*), Early Modernists and Baroques. I know, pretty foolish, and so I just wanted to avoid making myself look like a fool. Especially since I might come around to Haydn, Schostakovich and Bartok after all- they are great, just for me they pale in comparison to people like Rachmaninoff right now.
    *And to me, many of Mozart's late works- especially the Mass in C, Operas and Requiem- are Romantic and Classical at the same time.
    **And thanks for the welcome.
    But that first post was special. I had to share my love of those recordings- and my impression of the sound quality- with you guys.
    Have a nice day!
    Last edited by davidsannderson; Aug-08-2016 at 11:45.

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  4. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidsannderson View Post
    Thank you, I'm sure I will comment occasionally. This is one of my favourite forums to read.
    Mostly I just wanted to send MYSELF a message, to protect me against saying something foolish about post-ww1 composers or the non-Mozart Classical Style (excluding Beethoven's era, he's a Romantic to me.) Sometimes I get jealous of all the attention modern composers get, as opposed to my beloved Romantics (including Beethoven and Mozart*), Early Modernists and Baroques. I know, pretty foolish, and so I just wanted to avoid making myself look like a fool. Especially since I might come around to Haydn, Schostakovich and Bartok after all- they are great, just for me they pale in comparison to people like Rachmaninoff right now.
    *And to me, many of Mozart's late works- especially the Mass in C, Operas and Requiem- are Romantic and Classical at the same time.
    **And thanks for the welcome.
    But that first post was special. I had to share my love of those recordings- and my impression of the sound quality- with you guys.
    Have a nice day!
    That is so nice from you, and please do participate, there are a lots of threads by all composers.

  5. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pugg View Post
    Do stay with us, always nice hearing new opinions.
    In fact, I have just left replies to two other threads, both replies about Rachmaninoff.
    Thanks again for the welcome! I guess I'm not as much a fool as I thought!

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  7. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidsannderson View Post
    In fact, I have just left replies to two other threads, both replies about Rachmaninoff.
    Thanks again for the welcome! I guess I'm not as much a fool as I thought!
    And I did the same too you.

  8. #21
    Senior Member arnerich's Avatar
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    leif ove andsnes is my choice for the third

  9. #22
    Senior Member mstar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidsannderson View Post
    Anyway, I reccomend Rachmaninoff's own recordings.
    First, and most importantly- these performances may change your life. Really.
    second, it is the composer himself.
    3rd, he is maybe the greatest pianist in history.
    finally, the sound. I know there is hiss in the background, but the Presence of the music... Oh. My. God. It feels like Rachmaninoff, the piano and the entire Philadelphia Orchestra is two feet away... or less!
    And the way Rachmaninoff and the Orchestra perform..... Wow. Seriously, maybe my favorite recording of anything, including Led Zeppelin and the Bohm/Birgit Nilsson Tristan.

    Just my two cents' worth.
    Hello and welcome.
    This sounds interesting - would you like to elaborate?
    My profile picture says all, by the way.

    To answer the OP:

    I myself tend to stick with the original (Rachmaninoff) recordings, even though I'm familiar with the Berezovsky 2nd and 4th, Nasseri 1st, and Horowitz 3rd. All can be found on YouTube.

    Of these, the ones most worth listening to are the Berezovsky 2nd and Horowitz 3rd. And just a warning: The Rachmaninoff recordings can be difficult to become accustomed to. His style is... very Rachmaninoff. I don't know how else to say it.

    A side note:
    You may have heard of the newer Valentina Lisitsa recordings. She tries to play them like Rachmaninoff, but, in my opinion, as long as the original recordings exist, this is quite pointless. The only benefit I see to this would be the better sound quality (still not worth it).
    Last edited by mstar; Aug-19-2016 at 18:19.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bayreuth View Post
    So I'm thinking about getting a nice set with the 4 concertos for piano. Any suggestions?? I have seen a couple of editions with Ashkenazy playing the piano. Are they any good?
    I find Ashkenazy as the soloist a little syrupy myself. For full sets, Wild/Horenstein is probably my favorite, but Hough/Litton, Kocsis/de Waart, Thibaudet/Ashkenazy, and Andsnes/Pappano are all really good. And Rach himself is of course authoritative (although I feel maybe a little dryer than is my real ideal).

    Not sure that one should shop for these as a set though, the reality is I listen to 2 and 3 many times more than i listen to 1 and 4. 2 and 3 have great non-set versions--Richter/Sanderling in #2 is basically unmatched, Yuja Wang/Dudamel and Janis/Dorati have great #2 and #3s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joen_cph View Post
    There are several Ashkenazys, inclduing the early set with Previn and the later one with Haitink, plus the earliest no.3 with Fistoulari. The 3rd with Previn has an unusual, impressive broadness, including in the cadenza - quite a fascinating contrast to most other recordings.

    Some interesting single recordings are

    - Richter/DG in 2, Lang-Lang/DG
    - Argerich in 3 + the early, historical, poor sound Horowitz ones such as with Reiner, Barbirolli and Coates
    - Michelangeli in 4
    - Rubinstein/Sabata in the Paganini Rapsody (historical, poor sound)
    Argerich and Michelangeli for me. Argerich is stunning.

  12. #25
    Senior Member mstar's Avatar
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    Has anybody heard "5", by the way? I know - he didn't write it himself. It's based on the 2nd Symphony. I probably would never have listened it to myself since it's not "original", but I became familiar with it before I knew he didn't compose it.
    Surprisingly, it's definitely worth a listen. YouTube has a nice Schmitt-Leonardy recording.

  13. #26
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    Rachmaninoff played his concertos like no one else. He was simultaneously cool, heroic, and poetic. His fine sense of rubato - imaginative, infinitely subtle, never exaggerated - and his ability to execute the most complex and delicate filigree with utter clarity and a nonchalance which is never superficial, made him an aristocrat of the piano. Defying the impression we sometimes have of his music, he played without a trace of sentimental indulgence or histrionics, and from under his huge, powerful, sensitive hands these works emerge in their full stature.

    Of others I have, Wild is exciting but driven, Hough consciously taking a Rach-like approach but missing too much of the poetry. Horowitz's Third is incomparable in its own way (Rachmaninoff agreed) and must always be heard, Ashkenazy is warm (under Previn or Haitink) and a solid recommendation, there's a gorgeous, meditative First Concerto by Volkov, an interesting Second by Katchen, and a classic Third by Cliburn. Many like Argerich in the Third; for me she's a little overheated, more Argerich than Rachmaninoff.

    Whatever your modern preferences, give the composer a chance to teach you something about his music and about playing the piano. The sound is boxy and shallow, but it doesn't matter.

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  15. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstar View Post
    Has anybody heard "5", by the way? I know - he didn't write it himself. It's based on the 2nd Symphony. I probably would never have listened it to myself since it's not "original", but I became familiar with it before I knew he didn't compose it.
    Surprisingly, it's definitely worth a listen. YouTube has a nice Schmitt-Leonardy recording.

    I surely didn't, now I will, thank you very much.

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    I have the Schmitt-Leonardy CD. It makes for an interesting listen, and the performance is excellent, but in the end I prefer my Rachmaninov "neat".

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    Quote Originally Posted by mstar View Post
    Has anybody heard "5", by the way? I know - he didn't write it himself. It's based on the 2nd Symphony.
    I've heard it. It's an arrangement made by the Ukrainian (?) pianist/arranger/composer Alexander Warenberg. I'm not a huge fan of the work - there's some interesting piano writing here and there, but a lot of the musical material is left out. In addition, I think the piece as a whole struggles to sound balanced; the pianist is occasionally drowned by the orchestra, and when everybody's playing, I feel like there's just a bit too much going on - something that I never experience when listening to the real Rachmaninoff concertos. Anyhow, there are a few versions available in YouTube in case anyone's interested - I do agree that such an attempt at arrangement is certainly worth a listen. There's also a video of Valentina Lisitsa playing just the solo piano part, I think it gives an interesting insight into Warenberg's piano writing:



    Reading through the comments, I found some remarks by Lisitsa concerning the piece and performing it:

    -- I both love and hate the piece. I put so much work into making it palatable that I wouldn't part with it without at least making this little tribute video. This was my last performance. -- The performance with the orchestra was quite comical if it wouldn't be such a disaster. The orchestral writing is so thick and clumsy that they sounded like a herd of cows. Poor pianist (myself) was just waving arms and no sound would come out that would compete with the orchestra - and the bells. We need Rimsky-Korsakov to work on this orchestration. Then the piece would be priceless.

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    [First, and most importantly- these performances may change your life.]
    Quote Originally Posted by mstar View Post
    Hello and welcome.
    This sounds interesting - would you like to elaborate?
    My profile picture says all, by the way.
    I wish I could put it in words. It takes you to such an amazing place, and you don't feel like you're just listening to the music- it surrounds you. I've never heard an orchestra like that, and Rachmaninoff and the orchestra just seem to be one. It's such a huge experience.

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