WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Rachmaninov Edition: Complete Works

Rachmaninoff / Wild,Earl / Royal Philharmonic Orch
Release Date: 09/27/2011 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 9071   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sergei RachmaninovAlexander ScriabinModest AltschulerFelix Mendelssohn,   ... 
Performer:  Earl WildOlga Lutsiv-TernovskayaLeonid BomsteinViacheslav Pochapsky,   ... 
Conductor:  Jascha HorensteinGennadi RozhdestvenskyLeonard SlatkinValeri Polyanskii,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic OrchestraUSSR Ministry of Culture Symphony OrchestraLondon Symphony Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 28 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Here is the most complete collection of Rachmaninoff 's output ever assembled on disc: from the piano concertos and preludes of worldwide affection and esteem to his many songs and three operas, which are far less known but reveal the heart and soul of their creator, as a Russian first and foremost, whose attachment to his mother country never diminished in decades of homesick exile.

The performers on this set are drawn from both sides of that divide: Earl Wild plays the piano concertos, while the equally maverick conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky masterminds the symphonies. The Borodin Trio plays the two impassioned piano trios, while another American virtuoso, Garrick Ohlsson, tackles the many transcriptions that the
Read more composer made of Chopin, Bach and others, with the major piano works (the sonatas, preludes and Études-tableaux) played by Santiago Rodriguez and Nikolai Lugansky. There are also new recordings of early piano pieces made especially for this set and not previously released. The set is completed by an extended introduction to the composer and his work by the Rachmaninoff authority Julian Haylock on a bonus CD-ROM.

Reviews of some of the original recordings that make up this set:
Piano Concertos

Two caveats for prospective customers: One is that Earl Wild makes the once-standard "traditional" cuts in the finale of the Third Concerto; second is that these classic 1965 performances also are available on the Chesky label in less brilliant but more naturally equalized transfers, albeit spread across three full-priced discs. Chandos, however, offers the better bargain. More importantly, Wild is in dazzling form throughout. You'll rarely hear the First and Fourth Concertos sparkle with equal panache and rhythmic acuity, while the pianist's fusion of poetry and flair add up to a Paganini Rhapsody that leaves just about all stereo versions behind. Jascha Horenstein's incisive, colorful support is a major asset, and the Royal Philharmonic plays beautifully for him. If you don't mind the Third Concerto cuts (or already have Martha Argerich's landmark third), these classic performances only get better with age, and the sonics are still terrific. Go for it, piano fans!

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com

Symphonic Dances, The Bells
"Polyansky's Symphonic Dances is relaxed and lush, with fine solos and generally excellent orchestral playing. In keeping with the overall mood, climaxes are not as highly charged as in several other recordings, but the more exciting ones often turn blatantly brassy (e.g., Järvi), which this performance avoids. Add in Chandos's usual big, solid recorded sound in the spacious but not too reverberant acoustic of the Grand Auditorium of the Moscow Conservatory, and we have an enjoyable rendering. If there is little Russian character in evidence here, we must remember that the work was composed by a US resident for Ormandy and his Philadelphia Orchestra. Their superb 1960 Columbia recording is unmatched, but the slightly tubby sound of Sony's CD transfer may take it out of the running.

The Bells, on the other hand, displays plenty of Russian character, despite its origin as an Edgar Allan Poe poem and having been written in Rome in 1913. Russian voices singing their own language supply both plusses and minuses: Olga Lutsiv-Ternovskaya has a lovely soprano and pours out creamy tone; Leonid Bomstein has that strange Russian-tenor sound, light and dry yet effective."

-- James H. North, Fanfare

The Miserly Knight
"How many operas and other musical works have been inspired by the writings of Alexander Pushkin? The number must be vast and here is another - one of Rachmaninov’s three early stage works. With minor parings and adjustments Rachmaninov used the whole of Pushkin's drama. The scenes of the Miserly Knight flow as a whole. There is little feeling of set-piece arias linked by hum-drum. The sense of narrative is strong as perhaps was to be expected from the composer’s director role at the Bolshoi.

The plot. The Baron is a miser and Albert, his son, lives in shame of his father's tight-fisted reputation. There has been a jousting competition and the Count has had his helmet damaged. In scene 2 the Baron visits the crypt of the castle to add to his treasury of gold: power is wealth no matter what grief it may have cost. The damask musical drapes of this part of the score conjure the subterranean gloom in tones familiar from the first movement of the Second Symphony. The Baron then contemplates his mortality and fears his thriftless son will exhaust his treasure when he is in the grave. Albert asks the Duke to reason with his father so that he will change his ways. Things come to a head when Albert overhears the Baron suspecting Albert of being out to murder him. Albert challenges his father to a duel. The Duke, horrified at this conflict between son and father, banishes Albert. The Baron is at last mortified by his absorption in worldly goods. Burning with shame, he falls dead.

Neeme Järvi reigns in isolated supremacy when it comes to complete cycles of Rachmaninov's three early operas: we leave out of the reckoning the shards and shreds of Mona Vanna recorded on another Chandos CD. I am guessing that the present disc is not a one-off event and that Polyansky will also record the other two: Aleko and Francesca da Rimini. If so he will be doughty competition for Järvi’s set.

This Chandos disc is a fine entry into the lists. Polyansky, at one time given to a rather torpid approach in his Chandos cycle of Glazunov symphonies, here strikes a better balance. The Prelude broods and yet there is a vibrancy in the subservient instrumental lines. His vocal team, all men (there are no female roles in this opera) are uniformly robust. Grivnov is cast from strength and has one of those lean, resinous and rock-steady Atlantov-style heroic Russian voices. Molchanov's more nasal and wheedling style suits the caricature Moneylender role.

The writing recalls Rachmaninov's Second Symphony pretty frequently and there is also a confidently strong, occasionally hysterical, Tchaikovskian presence. The wild-eyed tension rattles along in terms familiar from the finale of Tchaikovsky 4. The grim ending of the opera is typical of the tormented Tchaikovsky."

-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International

Monna Vanna
Rachmaninov worked on Monna Vanna—the last of his operatic ventures—between 1906 and 1907, during the burst of creativity that generated the Second Symphony, the First Sonata, and Isle of the Dead. He completed a piano score of the first act and started sketches of the second; but when Maeterlinck refused him rights to the play, he abandoned the score, which remained all but forgotten. In the 1970s, however, Rachmaninov's sister-in-law asked Igor Buketoff to orchestrate the finished act; it was premiered, in English, at Saratoga during the summer of 1984, and it here receives its first recording, also in English, with the same conductor and the same baritone in the central role of Guido.

Rachmaninov and Maeterlinck might seem an odd combination—but Monna Vanna is not as vaporous as Pelléas or Ariane et Barbe-Blue. Indeed, the libretto has a bit in common with the Magda Liven-Orlova text used by Prokofiev a few years later in his unfinished opera, Maddalena (see 13:5). Set in a similarly half-imaginary Renaissance Italy (a convenient generic mise-en-scène for authors who want to bring thematics of erotic cruelty to the surface), if offers a similarly poisonous union of sex, betrayal, psychological torture, and violence, as well as male protagonists who are similarly bound together through the exchange of a woman. True, Monna Vanna has a touch of the enigmatic quality that operagoers in particular are apt to associate with Maeterlinck— capsulized when Marco notes, “How often do we live with those whom we love dearly, when there is much . . . that should be said, that never is revealed.“ But for the most part, the psychological anguish is less obliquely set out than in Pelléas, and the text responds well to Rachmaninov's dark and often broodingly thick colors.

Despite the potentials of the text, though, I'm not convinced Rachmaninov chose to set it in a way that plays to his strengths. It's fundamentally a declamatory opera, in the tradition of Dargomyzhsky, with flat vocal lines and the orchestra largely limited to providing commentary, either through coloristic highlighting or through brief, fairly undeveloped dramatic gestures. Furthermore, what little melody does manage to break through is, curiously, associated with hypocrisy rather than authentic expression. Thus, to the extent that the lyrical is allowed to flower in Guido's apostrophe to Vanna, it represents the husband's calculated attempt to manipulate his wife rhetorically, not some spontaneous expression of his inner feelings; the melodic line is thus self-conscious and carefully controlled. In the end, then, there's little opportunity for Rachmaninov to develop the longer spans that, especially at that point in his career, best exemplified his genius. To reduce the opera's effectiveness further, of course, we've only got the first act—an act that sets up but one side of the complex triangle that fuels the play's dramatic action. The result is a Casablanca without Victor Laszlo.

Still, this is Rachmaninov at his prime, and there are superlative touches: the luminous orchestral halo as Marco describes his rediscovery of a lost boyhood friend; the strikingly impressionistic dream-like choral introduction to the third scene; the tormented rapture to which that scene builds; the luscious orchestral close. The orchestration is idiomatic, too, and the performance is more committed than one excepts in such arcane material. Milnes sings Guido with exceptional authority, and just the right half-comprehending cruelty as he conflates his wife's honor with his own unquestioned possession of her; and his enunciation is so clear that you hardly need to look at the libretto. McCoy catches the curious combination of resigned wisdom and aesthetic softness that marks Guido's father Marco; and in her brief lines, Walker balances Vanna's self-assertion with purity and innocence. The chorus and orchestra seem on top of the music.

-- Peter J. Rabinowitz, Fanfare

Songs
Rachmaninov's songs have attracted many singers over the years, from Lily Pons to Martti Talvela, plus many Russians; few, however, went beyond the half-dozen perennial favorites. Jennie Tourel and Nicolai Gedda gave us substantial selections on records, and Elisabeth Söderström recorded eighty-six songs with Vladimir Ashkenazy; their five LPs have been reissued on three CDs in England. The widest selection on compact disc on these shores has been by Ana Pusar (Fanfare 18:1); baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky and mezzo Zara Dolukhanova have also been heard from.

As in his recent Mussorgsky song recital, Sergei Leiferkus's dark voice and dramatic vocalism are reminiscent of Boris Christoff; there is no higher praise from this corner. This time Leiferkus is aided by a superior pianist; like Ashkenazy, Howard Shelley is one of the leading exponents of Raehmaninov's piano music, and he contributes much sensitive playing. Recognizing the dual accomplishment, Chandos allows the piano to be heard even at the singer's most impassioned climaxes. Although Leiferkus is unparalleled in the dramatic songs, there are others in which a woman's voice and softer approach are more appropriate. Söderström is a skilled, imaginative artist, and Tourel's haunting voice comes through a half-century-old recording which deserves reissue; Pusar sings in a stentorian manner closer to Leiferkus than to the other ladies.

These thirty-two songs include some from each of Rachmaninov's six published sets, plus seven others published posthumously. The booklet includes reasonable notes and four-language song texts. This is the first disc of a projected complete cycle of Rachmaninov songs which should make a worthy companion to Söderström's set.

-- James H. North, FANFARE [1/1996]
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Piano no 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 1 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Earl Wild (Piano)
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891/1917; Russia 
Date of Recording: 1965 
2. Concerto for Piano no 2 in C minor, Op. 18 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Earl Wild (Piano)
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Date of Recording: 1965 
3. Concerto for Piano no 3 in D minor, Op. 30 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Earl Wild (Piano)
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1909; Russia 
Date of Recording: 1965 
4. Concerto for Piano no 4 in G minor, Op. 40 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Earl Wild (Piano)
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926/1941; USA 
Date of Recording: 1965 
5. Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, Op. 43 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Earl Wild (Piano)
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1934; USA 
6. Symphony no 1 in D minor, Op. 13 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1895; Russia 
7. Symphony no 3 in A minor, Op. 44 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1936/1938; USA 
8. Symphony no 2 in E minor, Op. 27 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906-1907; Russia 
Date of Recording: 03/1988 
Venue:  All Saints' Church, Tooting, London 
Length: 66 Minutes 13 Secs. 
9. Symphony in D minor "Youth" (unfinished) by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; Russia 
10. The Bells, Op. 35 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Olga Lutsiv-Ternovskaya (Soprano), Leonid Bomstein (Tenor), Viacheslav Pochapsky (Bass)
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Cappella,  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1913; Russia 
Date of Recording: 10/1998 
Venue:  Grand Auditorium, Moscow, Russia 
Length: 35 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: Russian 
11. Symphonic Dances, Op. 45 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1940; USA 
Date of Recording: 10/1998 
Venue:  Grand Auditorium, Moscow, Russia 
Length: 37 Minutes 12 Secs. 
12. The Rock, Op. 7 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
13. Isle of the Dead, Op. 29 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1909; Russia 
14. Capriccio on Gypsy Themes, Op. 12 "Capriccio bohémien" by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892-1894; Russia 
15. Scherzo for Orchestra in D minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Russia 
16. Prince Rostislav by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; Russia 
17. Aleko by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Leonid Tischenko (Bass), Maria Lapina (Soprano), Oleg Kulko (Tenor),
Samson Isoumov (Bass Baritone)
Conductor:  Roman Kofman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Donetsk Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
Date of Recording: 1995 
Language: Russian 
18. The Miserly Knight, Op. 24 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Barislav Molchanov (Tenor), Vitaly Efanov (Bass), Andrei Baturkin (Baritone),
Vsevolod Grivnov (Tenor), Mikhail Goujov (Bass)
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903-1905; Moscow 
19. Monna Vanna: Act 1 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Seth McCoy (Tenor), Blythe Walker (Soprano), Sherrill Milnes (Baritone)
Conductor:  Igor Buketoff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Iceland Symphony Orchestra,  Icelandic Opera Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1907; Russia 
20. Francesca da Rimini by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Nikolai Rechetniak (Baritone), Vladimir Matorin (Bass), Nikolai Vassiliev (Tenor),
Maria Lapina (Soprano), Vitali Tarashchenko (Tenor)
Conductor:  Andrey Chistiakov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra,  Sveshnikov Russian Academic Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1905; Russia 
Date of Recording: 11/1992 
Venue:  Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, Russia 
Length: 65 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: Russian 
21. Vespers, Op. 37 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Yuri Korinnyk (Tenor), Olga Borusene (Soprano), Mykhaylo Tyshchenko (Tenor)
Conductor:  Evgen Savchuk
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ukrainian National Capella "Dumka"
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; Russia 
Date of Recording: 12/2000 
Venue:  Cathedral, Kiev, Ukraine 
Length: 61 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: Russian 
22. Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, Op. 31 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Cappella
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
Date of Recording: 10/1990 
Venue:  Smolensk Cathedral 
Length: 91 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: Russian 
23. O mother of God vigilantly praying by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Cappella
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
Date of Recording: 1987 
Venue:  Sophia Cathedral, Polotsk, Belarussia 
Length: 9 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: Russian 
24. Chorus of spirits for Don Juan by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Cappella
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1894; Russia 
Date of Recording: 1987 
Venue:  Sophia Cathedral, Polotsk, Belarussia 
Length: 1 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Language: Russian 
25. Panteley the healer by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Cappella
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Russia 
Date of Recording: 1987 
Venue:  Sophia Cathedral, Polotsk, Belarussia 
Length: 4 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Language: Russian 
26. Spring, Op. 20 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Kurt Westi (Tenor), Elena Ustinova (Soprano), Jorma Hynninen (Baritone)
Conductor:  Dmitri Kitayenko
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Russia 
27. Russian Songs (3), Op. 41 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Cappella,  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926; USA 
28. Choruses (6), Op. 15 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Tigran Alikhanova (Piano)
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphonic Cappella
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1895-1896; Russia 
29. Scherzo for Orchestra in D minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Russia 
30. Songs (14), Op. 34: no 14, Vocalise by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1912-1915; Russia 
31. At the gate of the holy monastery by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Sergei Leiferkus (Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Russia 
Language: Russian 
32. I shall tell you nothing by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Sergei Leiferkus (Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Russia 
Language: Russian 
33. Again you leapt, my heart by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Joan Rodgers (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Russia 
Language: Russian 
34. C'était en avril by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Alexandre Naoumenko (Tenor), Howard Shelley (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; Russia 
Language: Russian 
35. Twilight has fallen by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Alexandre Naoumenko (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; Russia 
Language: Russian 
36. Song of the disillusioned by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Sergei Leiferkus (Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
Language: Russian 
37. The flower has faded by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Maria Popescu (Mezzo Soprano), Howard Shelley (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
Language: Russian 
38. Do you remember the evening? by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Maria Popescu (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
Language: Russian 
39. Songs (6), Op. 4 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Sergei Leiferkus (Baritone), Alexandre Naoumenko (Tenor),
Maria Popescu (Mezzo Soprano), Joan Rodgers (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890-1893; Russia 
Language: Russian 
40. Songs (6), Op. 8 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Sergei Leiferkus (Baritone), Alexandre Naoumenko (Tenor),
Maria Popescu (Mezzo Soprano), Joan Rodgers (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
Language: Russian 
41. Songs (12), Op. 14 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Joan Rodgers (Soprano), Howard Shelley (Piano), Sergei Leiferkus (Baritone),
Alexandre Naoumenko (Tenor), Maria Popescu (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1894-1896; Russia 
Language: Russian 
42. Were you hiccoughing by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Sergei Leiferkus (Bass)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1899; Russia 
Language: Russian 
43. Night by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Maria Popescu (Mezzo Soprano), Howard Shelley (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Russia 
Language: Russian 
44. Songs (12), Op. 21: no 1, Fate by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Sergei Leiferkus (Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Russia 
45. By a new grave by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Sergei Leiferkus (Bass)
Period: Romantic 
46. Songs (12), Op. 21: no 3, Twilight by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Alexandre Naoumenko (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Russia 
47. Songs (12), Op. 21: no 4, They answered by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Alexandre Naoumenko (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Russia 
48. Songs (12), Op. 21: no 5, Lilacs by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Joan Rodgers (Soprano), Howard Shelley (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Russia 
49. Songs (12), Op. 21: no 6, Loneliness by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Joan Rodgers (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Russia 
50. Songs (12), Op. 21: no 7, How fair this spot by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Joan Rodgers (Soprano), Howard Shelley (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Russia 
51. Songs (12), Op. 21: no 8, On the death of a linnet by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Maria Popescu (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Russia 
52. Songs (12), Op. 21: no 9, Melody by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Alexandre Naoumenko (Tenor), Howard Shelley (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Russia 
53. Songs (12), Op. 21: no 10, Before the icon by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Maria Popescu (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Russia 
54. Songs (12), Op. 21: no 12, How painful for me by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Joan Rodgers (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Russia 
55. Songs (15), Op. 26: no 1, There are many sounds by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Maria Popescu (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; Russia 
56. Songs (15), Op. 26: no 2, He took all from me by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Maria Popescu (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; Russia 
57. Songs (15), Op. 26: no 3, Let us rest by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Sergei Leiferkus (Bass), Howard Shelley (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; Russia 
58. Songs (15), Op. 26: no 4, Two partings by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Sergei Leiferkus (Bass), Joan Rodgers (Soprano), Howard Shelley (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; Russia 
59. Songs (15), Op. 26: no 5, Beloved, let us fly by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Joan Rodgers (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; Russia 
60. Songs (15), Op. 26: no 6, Christ is risen by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Maria Popescu (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; Russia 
61. Songs (15), Op. 26: no 7, To the children by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Maria Popescu (Mezzo Soprano), Howard Shelley (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; Russia 
62. Songs (15), Op. 26: no 8, I beg for mercy by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Alexandre Naoumenko (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; Russia 
63. Songs (15), Op. 26: no 9, Again I am alone by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Joan Rodgers (Soprano), Howard Shelley (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; Russia 
64. Songs (15), Op. 26: no 10, Before my window by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Joan Rodgers (Soprano), Howard Shelley (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; Russia 
65. Songs (15), Op. 26: no 11, The fountain by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Alexandre Naoumenko (Tenor), Howard Shelley (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; Russia 
66. Songs (15), Op. 26: no 12, Night is mournful by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Joan Rodgers (Soprano), Howard Shelley (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; Russia 
67. Songs (15), Op. 26: no 13, When yesterday we met by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Maria Popescu (Mezzo Soprano), Howard Shelley (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; Russia 
68. Songs (15), Op. 26: no 14, The ring by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Maria Popescu (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; Russia 
69. Songs (15), Op. 26: no 15, All things pass by by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Sergei Leiferkus (Bass), Howard Shelley (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; Russia 
70. Songs (12), Op. 21: no 11, No prophet I by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Joan Rodgers (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Russia 
71. Letter to K.S. Stanislavsky by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Sergei Leiferkus (Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1908; Russia 
Language: Russian 
72. From the Gospel of St John by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Sergei Leiferkus (Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1915; Russia 
Language: Russian 
73. A prayer by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Joan Rodgers (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1916; Russia 
Language: Russian 
74. Songs (14), Op. 34 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Sergei Leiferkus (Bass), Joan Rodgers (Soprano), Howard Shelley (Piano),
Alexandre Naoumenko (Tenor), Maria Popescu (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910-1912; Russia 
Language: Russian 
75. Songs (6), Op. 38 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano), Joan Rodgers (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1916; Russia 
Language: Russian 
76. Trio for Piano and Strings no 1 in G minor "Trio élégiaque" by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Yuli Turovsky (Cello), Luba Edlina (Piano), Rostislav Dubinsky (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Borodin Trio
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Russia 
Length: 15 Minutes 18 Secs. 
77. Trio for Piano and Strings no 2 in D minor, Op. 9 "Trio élégiaque" by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Rostislav Dubinsky (Violin), Yuli Turovsky (Cello), Luba Edlina (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Borodin Trio
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
Length: 43 Minutes 6 Secs. 
78. Pieces (2) for Violin and Piano, Op. 6: no 1, Romanze by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Nils Franke (Piano), Christian Persinaru (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
79. Pieces (2) for Violin and Piano, Op. 6: no 2, Hungarian Dance by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Nils Franke (Piano), Christian Persinaru (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
80. Pieces (2) for Cello and Piano, Op. 2 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Rustem Hayroudinoff (Piano), Alexander Ivashkin (Cello)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Russia 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, Highgate, London 
Length: 10 Minutes 21 Secs. 
81. Songs (14), Op. 34: no 14, Vocalise by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Rustem Hayroudinoff (Piano), Alexander Ivashkin (Cello)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1912-1915; Russia 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, Highgate, London 
Length: 6 Minutes 42 Secs. 
82. Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor, Op. 19 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Yakov Flier (Piano), Daniil Shafran (Cello)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901; Russia 
83. Etudes-tableaux (9) for Piano, Op. 39 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Nikolai Lugansky (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1916-1917; Russia 
84. Etudes-tableaux (9) for Piano, Op. 33 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Nikolai Lugansky (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1911; Russia 
85. Preludes (10) for Piano, Op. 23 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Santiago Rodriguez (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1903; Russia 
86. Variations on a theme of Corelli, Op. 42 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Santiago Rodriguez (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1931; USA 
87. Nocturnes (3) for Piano by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Santiago Rodriguez (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887-1888; Russia 
88. Song without words for Piano in d by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Santiago Rodriguez (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1887; Russia 
89. Sonata for Piano no 1 in D minor, Op. 28 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Santiago Rodriguez (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1907; Russia 
90. Preludes (13) for Piano, Op. 32 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Santiago Rodriguez (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
91. Sonata for Piano no 2 in B flat minor, Op. 36 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Santiago Rodriguez (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913/1931; Russia 
92. Morceaux de fantaisies (5), Op. 3 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Santiago Rodriguez (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Russia 
93. Morceaux de fantaisies (5), Op. 3: no 2, Prélude in C sharp minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Santiago Rodriguez (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Russia 
94. Variations on a theme of Chopin, Op. 22 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Santiago Rodriguez (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902-1903; Russia 
95. Moments musicaux (6), Op. 16 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Alexandre Ghindin (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Russia 
96. Morceaux (7) de salon, Op. 10 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Michael Ponti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893-1894; Russia 
97. Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61: Scherzo by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
Notes: Transcribed: Sergei Rachmaninov  
98. Songs (6), Op. 16: no 1, Cradle song by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Notes: Transcribed: Sergei Rachmaninov  
99. Transcription of Kreisler's "Liebesfreud" for piano by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1921; Austria 
Notes: Transcribed: Sergei Rachmaninov  
100. Partita for Violin solo no 3 in E major, BWV 1006: 1st movement, Prelude by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Notes: Transcribed: Sergei Rachmaninov  
101. Partita for Violin solo no 3 in E major, BWV 1006: 3rd movement, Gavotte en rondeau by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Notes: Transcribed: Sergei Rachmaninov  
102. Partita for Violin solo no 3 in E major, BWV 1006: 7th movement, Gigue by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Notes: Transcribed: Sergei Rachmaninov  
103. Die schöne Müllerin, D 795/Op. 25: no 2, Wohin? by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: Transcribed: Sergei Rachmaninov  
104. L'arlésienne: Suite no 1 - 2nd movement, Menuet by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; France 
Notes: Transcribed: Sergei Rachmaninov  
105. Tale of Tsar Saltan: Suite, Op. 57 - Flight of the bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903; Russia 
Notes: Transcribed: Sergei Rachmaninov  
106. Liebesleid by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
Notes: Transcribed: Sergei Rachmaninov  
107. Songs (12), Op. 21: no 5, Lilacs by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Russia 
Notes: Transcribed: Sergei Rachmaninov  
108. Songs (6), Op. 38: no 3, Daisies by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1916; Russia 
Notes: Transcribed: Sergei Rachmaninov  
109. Morceaux (7) de salon, Op. 10: no 5, Humoresque in G major by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893-1894; Russia 
110. Morceaux de fantaisies (5), Op. 3: no 3, Mélodie in E major by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
111. Sorochintsy fair: Hopak by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Notes: Transcribed: Sergei Rachmaninov  
112. Prelude for Piano in D minor, Op. posthumous by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1917; Russia 
113. Fragments by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917; Russia 
114. Song without words for Piano in d by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Nils Franke (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1887; Russia 
115. Prelude for Piano in F major by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Nils Franke (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; Russia 
116. Pieces (4) for Piano by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Nils Franke (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1887; Russia 
117. Oriental Sketch for Piano in B flat major by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Nils Franke (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1917; USSR 
118. Morceau de fantaisie in G minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Nils Franke (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1899; Russia 
119. Fughetta for Piano in F major by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Nils Franke (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1899; Russia 
120. Canon for Piano in E minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Nils Franke (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
121. Improvisations (4) for Piano by Sergei Taneyev
Performer:  Nils Franke (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896 
Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Rachmaninov, Arensky, and Glazunov. 
122. Suite for 2 Pianos no 2, Op. 17 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Julien Thurber (Piano), Ingryd Thorson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900-1901; Russia 
123. Suite for 2 Pianos no 1, Op. 5 "Fantaisie-tableaux" by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Julien Thurber (Piano), Ingryd Thorson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
124. Russian Rhapsody for 2 Pianos in E minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Ingryd Thorson (Piano), Julien Thurber (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; Russia 
125. Romance for Piano 4 Hands in G major by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Ingryd Thorson (Piano), Julien Thurber (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1894; Russia 
126. Polka italienne for Piano 4 Hands by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Julien Thurber (Piano), Ingryd Thorson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1906; Russia 
127. Pieces (2) for Piano 6 Hands by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Ingryd Thorson (Piano), Julien Thurber (Piano), David Gardiner (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
128. Duets (6) for Piano 4 hands, Op. 11 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Julien Thurber (Piano), Ingryd Thorson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Russia 
129. Morceaux de fantaisies (5), Op. 3: no 2, Prélude in C sharp minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Ingryd Thorson (Piano), Julien Thurber (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Russia 
130. Lachtäubchen (Behr) "Polka de W.R." by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Robert Groslot (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1911 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Amazing set August 11, 2014 By Jeffrey S. (Tucson, AZ) See All My Reviews "The set is amazing, from obscure piano transcriptions of other composers and fragments, it is truly complete...with a vengeance! My personal favorites (and I am a layman in music!)--and what I consider the gems of the set--are the piano concertos and the Paganini Rhapsody performed by the great American pianist Earl Wild (best known for his reference recordings of Gershwin) and the London Symphony conducted by the inimitable Jascha Horenstein. These were previously released by Reader's Digest of all things, and so we are fortunate that Brilliant was able to provide them in really excellent remastered sound, especially considering their 1965 origin. The main reason for my "review" here is to give some added information regarding this 28-disc set vs. an apparently more expensive set that included classic recordings by Horowitz and the composer. T. Drake noted "There is an alternative version of this set which adds historical recordings by Horowitz and the composer. But due to the cost differential, I recommend this set, with the additional items obtained separately." I would add that for under $3, those and many of the above performances (far from all!) are available on an mp3 set entitled "100 Rachmaninoff Piano Favorites" from Amazon (caveat: the concerto tracks are mislabeled, since Horowitz plays the 3rd, and Rachmaninov the 2nd)." Report Abuse
 Long overdue and well worth the price December 16, 2011 By T. Drake (South Euclid, OH) See All My Reviews "The days are long gone (except among a few pseudo-intellectuals) when Rachmaninoff was written off as a lightweight, pops composer - as an old edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Music& Musicians notoriously did. Grove's statement that the popularity of a few of Rachmaninoff's compositions would not last has been resoundingly disproven. Not only are the old warhorses - the Second Symphony, Second Piano Concerto, and Paganini Rhapsody - as popular as ever, but many of Rachmaninoff's previously obscure works have entered the standard repertoire. But this set from Brilliant Classics marks the first time a complete edition of Rachmaninoff's works has been released. It's long overdue. To put something front and center: as with many complete editions, very few of the performances in this edition can be considered definitive. But nearly all are on a high level and in acceptable sound - and a few works in this collection have never been recorded before. I will parenthetically suggest alternative recordings to those in this set that are not fully satisfactory. Concertos: All four concertos and the Paganini Rhapsody are from Earl Wild's renowned set with the Royal Philharmonic under Jascha Horenstein - recorded in the 1960s for Reader's Digest. Wild was a pianist of virtuoso technique coupled with a disciplined temperament (as was the composer himself). His performances are appropriately exciting and ardently romantic, without resorting to gushing - they never cross the line from emotion to sentimentality. Orchestral works: All the symphonies here are conducted by Rozhdestvensky. The 1st & 3rd stem from live concerts with the USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra. The disastrous premier of Symphony No. 1 plunged Rachmaninoff into a depression which required hypnosis to cure. The leading critic of the time condemned the work as too dissonant - and many performances of the symphony sound bombastic. Here, the work emerges as more yearning than vengeful, marking Rachmaninoff as the true successor to Tchaikovsky. Despite some out of tune woodwinds at the start of the 3rd Symphony, the piece is presented with ardor, the balance often highlighting the modern aspects of the work, which most performances try to gloss over. But 10 minutes into the first movement, there's a sudden reduction in volume, where it remains for the rest of the symphony. The last movement is noteworthy for the extreme variations in tempo between the dramatic and lyrical sections - at times things come to a near halt before speeding off again. The composer's own recording of the 3rd Symphony, with the Philadelphia Orchestra, is mandatory listening. The 2nd Symphony is played by the London Symphony Orchestra, a step up technically from its USSR counterpart. The sound is unusually clear without being overly immediate, so listeners can hear Rachmaninoff's interweaving harmonic-polyphonic lines. The snag here is the scherzo, where the conductor's rather sluggish tempo prevents things from getting off the ground. But the slow movement redeems everything thanks to a particularly loving clarinet solo - making the performance worthy of recommendation. I also recommend Pletnev in this symphony.) The Symph0nic Dances and the Bells - both masterpieces by any reasonable measure - are with the Russian State Symphony Orchestra under Polyanskii. In the Dances, the conductor takes his time in the ghostly waltzing second movement, which is unusually flexible and evocative here. The soloists in the Bells are spot-miked, and their placement changes, which is distracting. But the four movements are presented with a straight interpretation, the orchestra plays with refinement, and both solo and choir singing is fine. Piano works: The bulk of solo piano music is played by Santiago Rodriguez, and in many ways represents the high point of the set. That point's peak is the Corelli Variations - once a forgotten work but now common among Rachmaninoff players. Rodriguez's performance captures the works rapidly shifting moods (reverent, mysterious, sardonic, virtuosic, warmly romantic) more effectively than many other recordings I've heard, including Grimaud, Laredo, Pletnev, Thibaudet, and Watts - yet structural continuity is never sacrificed. Both sets of Preludes are appropriately brooding, lyrical, or stormy - as the music requires. What impresses me most about Rodriguez's Preludes is how he's able to broadly characterize them without allowing them to descend into schmaltz. He's less successful in the 2nd Sonata, which comes off as sectionalized, but the 1st Sonata sweeps all criticism aside. All of Rodriguez's contributions are exceptionally well recorded. In the Etudes-Tableaux, Nikolai Lugansky eschews virtuoso fireworks in favor of pathos and meditative reflection. This works for the lyrical pieces, but the more dramatic ones lack thrust and drive. There is also a disc of miscellaneous short piano works that's a mixed bag, with some rather colorless run-throughs by Michael Ponti that are poorly recorded. The piano duet pieces are given in warmly expressive, unhurried performances by Julien Thurber and Ingryd Thorson. Chamber music: Rachmaninoff's entire output of chamber music can easily fit onto two CDs. The two Trios élégiaque are offered in ardently poetic performances by the Borodin trio. The Cello Sonata is in a serviceable performance by Daniil Shafran and Yakov Flier - unfortunately recorded in mono sound. Surely, Brilliant could have licensed a modern recording of this piece. Opera & Vocal music: I will confess that I am not a great fan of opera, and I have never heard these works before, so I can't compare them with other renditions. All of Rachmaninoff's four operas (including the unfinished Monna Vanna) are on the brief side, fitting onto one CD each. The performances in this set are well sung and accompanied. The vocal highlights here are the performances of All-Night Vigil (Vespers) and Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom - the latter was condemned for its "spirit of modernism" and fell into obscurity until it was reconstructed in 1988. Both works, acapella, are performed with purity and transparency - the perfect antidote for those who label Rachmaninoff as a "Hollywood" composer (whatever that means, as Rachmaninoff was well established long before Hollywood was). The three discs of songs are a mix of solo and multiple voices, with either piano or orchestral accompaniment. A slight caveat here: This set could be regarded as not quite complete, as the Third Concerto is cut and the Second Sonata is presented in the shortened 1931 revision. For a more complete performance of the 3rd Concerto, I recommend Horacio Gutiérrez. Van Cliburn made an excellent recording of the original version of the 2nd Sonata, but neither the original nor the revised really works as well as Horowitz's fusion of the two versions.) The set totals 28 CDs, and there is an additional CD-ROM which includes the liner notes. There is an alternative version of this set which adds historical recordings by Horowitz and the composer. But due to the cost differential, I recommend this set, with the additional items obtained separately." Report Abuse
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook