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Rachmaninoff Plays Rachmaninoff: Solo Works & Transcriptions


Release Date: 11/14/1989 
Label:  Rca Victor Gold Seal Catalog #: 7766   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Sergei RachmaninovJohann Sebastian BachFelix MendelssohnFranz Schubert,   ... 
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Very fortunately, Rachmaninov's consummate genius as a pianist was captured on a number of records. They stand as one of the truly important legacies of the early years of the gramophone industry. In the recordings of his own music one is especially interested to hear how such a grim-looking man could be reconciled with some of the most tender and whimsical pieces ever written for the instrument. It turns out that his interpretations are model in terms of fluent, yet almost classically controlled, expressivity. The subtlety of Rachmaninov's artistry never acted against his very lively attitude towards performance.

After a selection of lesser-known Preludes, each of which contains that miraculously balanced relationship
Read more between melody and accompaniment for which the composer-pianist was idolized, there are three of the Etudes-tableaux and the piece Daisies. Whereas two of the former show the grittier and more gaunt side of the Russian, Daisies, by way of contrast, has the feel of a Gershwin song transcription. Its warmth and colour are indescribable.

Three earlier pieces demonstrate just how early in his creative life Rachmaninov was able to find a distinctive style. The dynamic contrasts prescribed in the Humoresque may have been ironed out here in consideration for the recording process, but the latter part of the piece has a power and diablerie that almost outdoes Horowitz. Both the Polka de VR and the Liebesfreud have a far more directly light and gay mood than one normally hears. Everywhere there is a gentle, teasing humour. The Bach, recorded a year before Rachmaninov's death, shows some deterioration in his playing. Of the other transcriptions, the Schubert really is pretty terrible with its highly elaborate accompaniment. The Tchaikovsky, in which there is a melancholy and dreamy use of piano tone, finds the pianist delighting in the pureness of the instrument's sonority.

This anthology includes nearly all the electric 78s that Rachmaninov recorded of his own music. They date from April 1925, the year in which the first electric recordings came into general use, to February 1942. However, nine of the pieces are the product of one's day's sessions in March 1940. Quite naturally, the sound-quality varies a certain amount, as does the amount of surface noise, with the Gopak being about the most primitive. Nevertheless, a definite and individual use of piano tone is apparent in every note that Rachmaninov plays and this consistency itself speaks for the fidelity of the recordings.

-- James Methuen-Campbell, Gramophone [5/1990]
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Preludes (10) for Piano, Op. 23: no 10 in G flat major, Largo by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1903; Russia 
Date of Recording: 03/18/1940 
Length: 3 Minutes 11 Secs. 
2.
Preludes (13) for Piano, Op. 32: no 3 in E major, Allegro vivace by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
Date of Recording: 03/18/1940 
Length: 2 Minutes 16 Secs. 
3.
Preludes (13) for Piano, Op. 32: no 6 in F minor, Allegro appassionato by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
Date of Recording: 03/18/1940 
Length: 1 Minutes 16 Secs. 
4.
Preludes (13) for Piano, Op. 32: no 7 in F major, Moderato by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
Date of Recording: 03/18/1940 
Length: 2 Minutes 9 Secs. 
5.
Etudes-tableaux (9) for Piano, Op. 33: no 2 in C major by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1911; Russia 
Date of Recording: 03/18/1940 
Length: 2 Minutes 11 Secs. 
6.
Etudes-tableaux (9) for Piano, Op. 33: no 7 in E flat major by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1911; Russia 
Date of Recording: 03/18/1940 
Length: 1 Minutes 41 Secs. 
7.
Songs (6), Op. 38: no 3, Daisies by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1916; Russia 
Date of Recording: 03/18/1940 
Length: 2 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Sergei Rachmaninov 
8.
Etudes-tableaux (9) for Piano, Op. 39: no 6 in A minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1916-1917; Russia 
Date of Recording: 12/16/1925 
Length: 2 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Notes: This etude was originally intended to be number 4 in Op 33, but was first
published as number 6 in Op 39. 
9.
Oriental Sketch for Piano in B flat major by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1917; USSR 
Date of Recording: 03/18/1940 
Length: 1 Minutes 44 Secs. 
10.
Morceaux de fantaisies (5), Op. 3: no 3, Mélodie in E major by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Date of Recording: 04/09/1940 
Length: 3 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: Russia (1892).
Composition revised: 1940. 
11.
Morceaux de fantaisies (5), Op. 3: no 5, Sérénade in B flat minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Russia 
Date of Recording: 01/03/1936 
Length: 2 Minutes 49 Secs. 
12.
Morceaux (7) de salon, Op. 10: no 5, Humoresque in G major by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893-1894; Russia 
Date of Recording: 04/09/1940 
Length: 3 Minutes 24 Secs. 
13.
Songs (12), Op. 21: no 5, Lilacs by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Russia 
Date of Recording: 02/02/1942 
Length: 2 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Notes: Transcribed: Sergei Rachmaninov 
14.
Moments musicaux (6), Op. 16: no 2, Allegretto in E flat minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Russia 
Date of Recording: 03/18/1940 
Length: 2 Minutes 49 Secs. 
15.
Lachtäubchen (Behr) "Polka de W.R." by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1911 
Date of Recording: 04/04/1928 
Length: 3 Minutes 43 Secs. 
16.
Morceaux de fantaisies (5), Op. 3: no 2, Prélude in C sharp minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Russia 
Date of Recording: 04/04/1928 
Length: 3 Minutes 32 Secs. 
17.
Partita for Violin solo no 3 in E major, BWV 1006: 1st movement, Prelude by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 02/1942 
Length: 3 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Notes: Transcribed: Sergei Rachmaninov 
18.
Partita for Violin solo no 3 in E major, BWV 1006: 3rd movement, Gavotte en rondeau by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 02/1942 
Length: 2 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Notes: Transcribed: Sergei Rachmaninov 
19.
Partita for Violin solo no 3 in E major, BWV 1006: 7th movement, Gigue by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 02/1942 
Length: 1 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Notes: Transcribed: Sergei Rachmaninov 
20.
Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61: Scherzo by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
Date of Recording: 12/23/1935 
Length: 3 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Notes: Transcribed: Sergei Rachmaninov 
21.
Transcription of Kreisler's "Liebesfreud" for piano by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1921; Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/29/1925 
Length: 6 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Notes: Transcribed: Sergei Rachmaninov 
22.
Die schöne Müllerin, D 795/Op. 25: no 2, Wohin? by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/29/1925 
Length: 2 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Notes: Transcribed: Sergei Rachmaninov 
23.
Sorochintsy fair: Hopak by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Date of Recording: 04/13/1925 
Length: 1 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Notes: Transcribed: Sergei Rachmaninov
Composition written: Russia (1874 - 1880). 
24.
Songs (6), Op. 16: no 1, Cradle song by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 02/26/1942 
Length: 3 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Notes: Transcribed: Sergei Rachmaninov 
25.
Tale of Tsar Saltan: Suite, Op. 57 - Flight of the bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903; Russia 
Date of Recording: 04/16/1929 
Length: 1 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Notes: Transcribed: Sergei Rachmaninov 

Featured Sound Samples

Etudes-tableaux for Piano, op 33 (Rachmaninov): No 7 in E flat
Violin Partita no 3 (Bach, arr Rachmaninov): I. Prelude

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