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Rachmaninov: Piano Sonatas / Xiayin Wang

Rachmaninoff
Release Date: 05/27/2014 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 10816   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Xiayin Wang
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Chandos’s young pianist Xiayin Wang excels again, affirming not only her phenomenal skill but also her clear affinity with Rachmaninov’s music.

– Gramophone [7/2014]

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Xiayin Wang presents her second album of piano works by Rachmaninoff, playing the two piano sonatas alongside three of the Op. 23 Preludes. She impressed with the first volume, Gramophone remarking that it featured ‘playing of an awesome clarity and poise’ (Gramophone Choice).

Piano Sonata No. 1 from 1908 was originally inspired by Goethe’s Faust, and follows the model of Eine Faust- Symphonie by Liszt. Although Rachmaninoff abandoned any explicit references soon after starting the Sonata, the influence of Liszt’s
Read more work can be heard in its grand three-movement structure and complex emotional trajectory. The symphonic proportions of the first sonata contrast with the compact 1931 revision of Piano Sonata No. 2, which Xiayin Wang performs here. Rachmaninoff cut some 120 bars from the original as well as toning down some virtuosic extravagances and creating clearer textures.

Despite this apparent modesty, the rhapsodic expression and emotional breadth so characteristic of Rachmaninoff are abundant in the sonata.

Three miniature masterpieces from Rachmaninoff’s first, Op. 23 set of preludes complete the disc. No. 4 in D major is a pure Andante cantabile while No. 5, one of Rachmaninoff’s best-known works, is a striding march. No. 6 in E flat major offers another reverie which effectively returns us to the calm of the D major prelude. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Piano no 1 in D minor, Op. 28 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Xiayin Wang (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1907; Russia 
2.
Preludes (10) for Piano, Op. 23: no 4 in D major, Andante cantabile by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Xiayin Wang (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903; Russia 
3.
Preludes (10) for Piano, Op. 23: no 5 in G minor, Alla marcia by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Xiayin Wang (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901; Russia 
4.
Preludes (10) for Piano, Op. 23: no 6 in E flat major, Andante by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Xiayin Wang (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1903; Russia 
5.
Sonata for Piano no 2 in B flat minor, Op. 36: 3rd movement, L'istesso tempo by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Xiayin Wang (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1913/1931; Russia 

Sound Samples

Piano Sonata No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 28: I. Allegro moderato
Piano Sonata No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 28: II. Lento
Piano Sonata No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 28: III. Allegro molto
10 Preludes, Op. 23: No. 4 in D Major: Andante cantabile
10 Preludes, Op. 23: No. 5 in G Minor: Alla marcia
10 Preludes, Op. 23: No. 6 in E-Flat Major: Andante
Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-Flat Minor, Op. 36 (1931 version): I. Allegro agitato - Meno mosso
Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-Flat Minor, Op. 36 (1931 version): II. Non allegro - Lento - Piu mosso
Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-Flat Minor, Op. 36 (1931 version): III. Allegro molto - Poco meno mosso - Presto

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