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Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos 1 & 2 / Andsnes, Et Al


Release Date: 10/04/2005 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 74813   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Leif Ove Andsnes
Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Leif Ove Andsnes and Antonio Pappano deliver full-bodied and intelligently detailed readings of Rachmaninov's first two concertos that rightly project the composer's virtuosic keyboard writing and scintillating orchestration on equal footing. EMI's vivid engineering gives welcome yet never distracting presence to first-desk solos, rapid woodwind flurries, and sweeping brass counterpoints. It also captures a fair amount of heavy breathing from either the soloist or conductor. However, the Berlin Philharmonc strings beckon your primary attention, as Pappano inspires them to throb, sigh, and sing as if Leopold Stokowski had come back to life--although the heavy vibrato in the First concerto's opening theme borders on Mantovani's oleaginous Read more turf.

Andsnes' ample sonority matches the orchestra's lush tonal resources, and his headlong shaping of lyrical passages (particularly in the slow movements) makes expressive points through dynamic inflection and color, with discreet rubato. And unlike certain young, heavily promoted soloists who've recorded "Rach Two", Andsnes knows when to step out of the spotlight and accompany.

Among individual editions, I lean toward the Janis, Kocsis, and Wild Firsts for their suppler, more balletic approaches to the finale, or the bracing excitement with which Zimerman and Richter ignite the Second's concluding movement. Still, Andsnes and Pappano undoubtedly are world-class contenders in a crowded market, and I hope they plan further recorded collaborations.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 1 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Leif Ove Andsnes (Piano)
Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891/1917; Russia 
Date of Recording: 07/05/2005 
Venue:  Berlin Philharmonie, Germany 
Length: 25 Minutes 47 Secs. 
2.
Concerto for Piano no 2 in C minor, Op. 18 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Leif Ove Andsnes (Piano)
Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Live  Berlin Philharmonie, Germany 
Length: 32 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: Russia (1900 - 1901). 

Sound Samples

Piano Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor Op. 1: I. Vivace
Piano Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor Op. 1: II. Andante
Piano Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor Op. 1: III. Allegro vivace
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor Op. 18: I. Moderato
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor Op. 18: II. Adagio sostenuto
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor Op. 18: III. Allegro scherzando

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