Release Date: 06/12/2007
Label:DeccaCatalog #: 000894102
Spars Code: n/a Composer: Sergei Rachmaninov Performer: Vladimir Ashkenazy Number of Discs: 1
Recorded in: Stereo
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Decca squeezes all 80 minutes and 34 seconds of Vladimir Ashkenazy's 1975 Rachmaninov Preludes onto a single disc, in its cleanest and clearest transfer to date. Reduction in tape hiss yields a quieter ambience yet does not compromise the pianist's rich and colorful sonority one iota. Better still, Ashkenazy is captured at his technical and interpretive apex. Each and every prelude brings forth revelations of balance, voicing, phrase shaping, and architecture, all of which simply aim to clarify what's already indicated in the scores.
The expressive economy of Ashkenazy's rubato plays a key role in allowing the music's orchestral polytextures their full due, whether in the lyrical B-flat minor, F major, G major, and G-sharpRead more minor selections from Op. 32, or the full-throated, massive C major, E minor, G minor, and B-flat major pieces. At the same time, his shimmering, supple double notes in the Op. 23 E-flat minor Prelude scintillate in purely pianistic terms. Collectors who understandably swear by memorable versions of individual preludes from Horowitz, Richter, Cliburn, and the composer himself will find similar stimulation from Ashkenazy's complete set. Indeed, it's one of the finest recordings in this pianist's immense discography. With Decca's more than generous timings, improved sound, and modest asking price, don't even think of not owning this treasurable disc.
Love this!April 15, 2015By gwen t. (Culver City, CA)See All My Reviews"It was great to get all of these on one CD. One can really hear the connection between Ashkenazy and Rachmaninov. The playing is at the same time passionate and elegant."Report Abuse
GOT 'EM!!!February 16, 2015By Zita Carno (Tampa, FL)See All My Reviews"I've been hearing some tracks from this CD on my favorite TV channel, Classical Masterpieces, and I decided I had to get the entire album for my ever-expanding collection. And so I did. It's a beaut, it is, and Ashkenazy---whom I've always liked---really does a magnificent job with them, in every respect. One of my favorites is the prelude in D minor, Op. 32 #3, which the composer marked Tempo di menuetto but I think of as a martial polonaise (and I don't think Rachmaninoff would have objected to this designation). I used to play these, and now I enjoy listening to every one of them."Report Abuse