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Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos No 1-4, Rhapsody / Wild, Et Al


Release Date: 06/24/2003 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 10078   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Earl Wild
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


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
Read more 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 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 
Notes: Composition written: Russia (1900 - 1901). 
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 

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
Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30: I. Allegro
Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30: II. Intermezzo: Adagio -
Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30: III. Finale: Allegro
Piano Concerto No. 4 in G minor, Op. 40: I. Allegro
Piano Concerto No. 4 in G minor, Op. 40: II. Largo -
Piano Concerto No. 4 in G minor, Op. 40: III. Allegro vivace
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 The Last of the Great Romantic Pianists August 25, 2013 By George Klump (La Crescenta, CA) See All My Reviews "Earl Wild has been called the last of the great pianists in the Romantic tradition. Without question the sheer length of his career could easily argue the truth of that assertion. While not too many concert pianists have essayed the first and fourth piano concertos of Rachmaninoff, preferring instead to concentrate on the second and occasionally the third, the outer two have their own voice and make their own statements quite independently. In the case of the first concerto, Earl Wild wades into the opening of it with every bit of the musicality and verve Rachmaninoff himself committed to it in the recording he made with the Philadelphia Orchestra many years ago. The performance is very much in style and at no point does one feel any hint of musical fabrication on the part of the performer. The same may be said for the second and third piano concertos which, of course, are the most popular in the concert hall. One of several positive things which might be noted in this recording of the Piano Concerto #2 in C minor is that the pianist does not try to make the opening chords so soft and slow that they do not come off so that it takes the orchestral entrance to bring the concerto to life. And in the last movement Wild is not afraid to take chances. While a minor observation, Wild has a tendency to move right into connective musical tissue which sometimes benefit considerably from a break, that is, a silence before moving on. That is more a question of taste, I guess, though Wild does give the impression of wanting to move on at almost all costs. At any rate Wild does pull off the big cadenza on the dominant just before the final statement of the theme at the Maestoso better than just about any other pianist save Gieseking who plays it to the end without any ritard which the composer does not indicate at all but which most pianists make to avoid a technical wreck! While I have Rachmaninoff's own recording of the fourth concerto, Wild makes it come off better to me in his performance. With this kind of playing, the fourth concerto should be performed more in public than it is. Many reviewers of Rachmaninoff's work are fond of leaning in on psychological analysis and use this to point out perceived anxieties and neurotic tendencies in his music almost as if this was a fear factor. Personally, I do not subscribe to this view and hear his music as a reflection of the musical atmosphere of his time, a musical vocabulary which he used in his terms just as securely as Richard Strauss did his. The Rhapsody is Rachmaninoff's last major work for piano and orchestra and is unquestionably the leanest in the use of the orchestra. As with the concertos, Earl Wild plays this work, as if he has owned it for years. What a beautiful performance. And I cannot let this CD pass without commenting on the absolutely first class orchestral work which the late Jascha Horenstein elicits from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. While the RPO has often been thought of as Sir Thomas Beecham's orchestra, since he founded it originally and it has sometimes been referred to as the Royal Pillharmonic, a reference to Beecham's family fortune which he frequently used to underwrite many musical projects, nevertheless, they play in top form at all points under Horenstein's consistently alert direction. This is an underrated conductor whose recording of the Mahler First Symphony in D Major still stands at the top of the heap." Report Abuse
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