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Thread: Rachmaninov Piano Concertos - Best Sounding Ashkenazy/Previn

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    Default Rachmaninov Piano Concertos - Best Sounding Ashkenazy/Previn

    I'm interested in the Ashkenazy-Previn versions, and I understand they have been issued numerous times. Anyone have an opinion on which sounds best (vinyl and CD included)?
    Last edited by PMarlowe; Feb-12-2016 at 03:40.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMarlowe View Post
    I'm interested in the Ashkenazy-Previn versions, and I understand they have been issued numerous times. Anyone have an opinion on which sounds best (vinyl and CD included)?
    Give me the Ashkenazy / Haitink.
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    A review of the complete Rachmaninov piano music set slightly criticized the Haitink versions by stating:

    "Perhaps the 1980s digital cycle of the concertos, with Bernard Haitink conducting, is not as instinctively sharp in its musical responses as Ashkenazy's earlier cycle with Previn, but his performances of the other major works would be hard to match among modern recordings for their stylishness and grace, unflashy virtuosity and innate understanding of what made Rachmaninov tick."

    This had the effect of pushing me in the direction of the Previn versions, but I certainly will listen to all of Ashkenazy's efforts on Spotify to make my own assessment.

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    Personally, in general I think Previn is a vastly underrated conductor, particularly of Russian music. And I think Haitink is the exact opposite. But then, I prefer my Russian music emotionally stirring, not analytical.

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    As a conductor of Rachmaninov, Previn is vastly to be preferred. Makes the earlier set far preferable.

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    There are a pair of nice-looking (don't know yet about nice-sounding) sets of Rachmaninov piano music by Ashkenazy, and whether you like Previn or Haitink is important (and potentially determinative):

    Complete Works For Piano (2014) - http://www.amazon.com/Rachmaninov-Co...shkenazy+piano

    Piano Concertos; Suites; Preludes (1997) - http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Concerto...achmaninov+box

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    I'm assuming - but I can only assume at this point - that these are the best sounding Ashkenazy-Previn recordings - http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/...bum_id=1480445

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    The ultimate test is my music chamber and my own ears, not everybody is the same



    I always try to avoid those so called critics, I read them from time to time though

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    I've got both: Ashkenazy/Previn & Ashkenazy/Haitink. The first is more attracting attention to the piano playing, the second more to the orchestral entourage. With regard to the orchestras and the acoustics I do prefer the Concertgebouw and Decca's grand sweeping recording, but sometimes I just want to be more intimate with the piano playing itself and then the Ashkenazy/Previn prevails. So why not have the best, i.e.: both worlds?
    All we like sheep

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    Quote Originally Posted by TxllxT View Post
    I've got both: Ashkenazy/Previn & Ashkenazy/Haitink. The first is more attracting attention to the piano playing, the second more to the orchestral entourage. With regard to the orchestras and the acoustics I do prefer the Concertgebouw and Decca's grand sweeping recording, but sometimes I just want to be more intimate with the piano playing itself and then the Ashkenazy/Previn prevails. So why not have the best, i.e.: both worlds?
    The piano sounds recessed and, at times, a bit overwhelmed by the orchestra on the Haitink versions. If it were a rock or jazz album, I'd say I don't like the mix. I've been listening to the Mercury Living Presence versions of #2 and #3 (Antal Dorati, London Symphony Orchestra and Byron Janis). The sound is stellar, but I think I still like the Ashkenazy/Previn versions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMarlowe View Post
    There are a pair of nice-looking (don't know yet about nice-sounding) sets of Rachmaninov piano music by Ashkenazy, and whether you like Previn or Haitink is important (and potentially determinative):

    Complete Works For Piano (2014) - http://www.amazon.com/Rachmaninov-Co...shkenazy+piano

    Piano Concertos; Suites; Preludes (1997) - http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Concerto...achmaninov+box
    Decided to buy the latter (the Ashkenazy set). I've been listening to it on Spotify, and decided I must have it. While I wait for the mailman, I think I'll check out Rachmaninov's symphonies. Rach around the clock. You bet.

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    The Ashkenazy/Previn concertos have been recently remastered, according to Decca "For the first time in over 40 years, the recordings have been remastered in ultra-high quality 96kHz 24-bit audio at Abbey Road Studios." The new set includes 2CDs and 1 Blu-ray and are also available to be bought and downloaded in flac studio format. To my ears this is indeed the best remastering since I own many different incarnations of the Rachmaninov/Previn.

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    I saw that and was tempted. I might try the FLAC if it's not too expensive. I couldn't resist the 1997 set, though - $9 for 6 CDs (used but in excellent condition).

    By the way, where is the FLAC download? I only see the CDs at Amazon.

    I'm currently on a Russian kick (though even last year I couldn't stop listening to Shostakovich's string quartets). Today I pulled this up on Spotify and enjoyed it immensely:

    61aZDDoKbML._SL500_AA280_.jpg
    Last edited by PMarlowe; Feb-21-2016 at 02:36.

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    I can't remember which of the Ashkenazy recordings I heard. They were good, but I don't remember being blown away.

    If you want good quality sound, my favorite recording currently is the Hough/Litton recording on Hyperion - includes all 4 concertos, along with the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMarlowe View Post
    I saw that and was tempted. I might try the FLAC if it's not too expensive. I couldn't resist the 1997 set, though - $9 for 6 CDs (used but in excellent condition).

    By the way, where is the FLAC download? I only see the CDs at Amazon.

    I'm currently on a Russian kick (though even last year I couldn't stop listening to Shostakovich's string quartets). Today I pulled this up on Spotify and enjoyed it immensely:

    61aZDDoKbML._SL500_AA280_.jpg

    If you do a google search for for it you'll get quite a few online stores that sell the album. Some of them even sell the tracks individually.

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