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Rachmaninov: Complete Piano Concertos / Andsnes, Pappano, Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony

Rachmaninoff / Andsnes,Lief Ove
Release Date: 09/18/2012 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 19385   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Leif Ove Andsnes
Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic OrchestraLondon Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Leif Ove Andsnes has long been renowned for his powerfully emotive and disciplined performances of Rachmaninov: attributes prized by the supreme composer-pianist himself. This set brings together for the first time the complete cycle of acclaimed concerto recordings, including the perennially loved Second in an award-winning live performance, acclaimed by Gramophone as ‘a Rolls-Royce reading.’

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
Read more 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 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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"As we might expect from a soloist of such calibre, Leif Ove Andsnes’s new version of Rachmaninov’s greatest piano concerto – the Third – is a highly competitive contender. This is Andsnes’s second recording of the work, and far surpasses his 1995 live concert version for EMI Classics.

He manages to make the first movement sound more sinister and wayward than most of his rivals, yet he’s in his element in etching the filigree and fioriture of the highly-decorated solo part in the slow movement. These contrary traits are swept up and given headlong impetus in a tremendously exciting account of the Finale.

The Fourth Concerto, heard as usual in the revised version of 1941, also emerges as a work more to be reckoned with than in many other interpretations. Its finale – another wild and irresistible ride – is especially thrilling, Andsnes throwing off the tricky figuration as if its difficulties didn’t exist, but the work as a whole benefits from the excellent recorded balance: although Antonio Pappano’s direction of the LSO is efficient rather than inspired, the sonics allow the detail of the often complex orchestral writing to register at its full weight.

A superb disc, then...among contemporary accounts these new versions by Andsnes are without doubt in the front rank."

-- Calum MacDonald, BBC Music Magazine


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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. 
3.
Concerto for Piano no 3 in D minor, Op. 30 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Leif Ove Andsnes (Piano)
Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1909; Russia 
4.
Concerto for Piano no 4 in G minor, Op. 40 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Leif Ove Andsnes (Piano)
Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926/1941; 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: I. Vivace
Piano Concerto No. 1 in F Sharp Minor, Op.1: II. Andante
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. 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: I. Moderato: Rachmaninov: 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: II. Adagio sostenuto
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op.18: III. Allegro scherzando
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op.18: III. Allegro scherzando
Piano Concerto No.3, Op.30: I. Allegro ma non tanto
Piano Concerto No.3, Op.30: I. Allegro ma non tanto
Piano Concerto No.3, Op.30: II. Intermezzo (Adagio)
Piano Concerto No.3 Op.30: II. Intermezzo (Adagio)
Piano Concerto No.3 Op.30: III. Finale (Alla breve)
Piano Concerto No.3, Op.30: III. Finale (Alla breve)
Piano Concerto No.4 Op.40: I. Allegro vivace (alla breve)
Piano Concerto No.4, Op.40: I. Allegro vivace (alla breve)
Piano Concerto No.4, Op.40: II. Largo
Piano Concerto No.4, Op.40: II. Largo
Piano Concerto No.4 Op.40: III. Allegro vivace
Piano Concerto No.4, Op.40: III. Allegro vivace

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