ExcellentSeptember 2, 2012By Nancy W. (Manchester, NH)See All My Reviews"I am a bit of a fanatic about finding the "best" recording of a given piece of music before selecting one for purchase. So, I have listened to many performances of this concerto (Argerich, Horowitz, Cliburn live in the USSR, Gutierrez, Andsnes, Glazinov, Bronfman, Ashkenazy, Rachmaninoff himself, and others) on YouTube. When I heard this one, I stopped looking any further. Berman is very impressive, a true professional, and this is the best performance that I have heard of this concerto. When power and speed are called for, he provides it. When delicacy is needed, he provides it. His sense of rhythm and timing is excellent. And the first movement cadenza (he plays the longer and more difficult one) is just phenomenal.
The recording is crystal clear, with no tape hiss or extraneous noise whatsoever. Every piano note is completely audible (in part because of Berman's clarity and in part because of the excellence of the recording itself), and orchestral detail is remarkable. The fine sound is especially noteworthy because this is an AAD release.
At first, though, I thought that the sound, despite the clarity, was maybe a little "thin". But eventually I realized that it was actually just a little distant because this was a live concert recording (1976, Carnegie Hall). It is the way it would sound if you were sitting in the mezzanine, and nothing wrong with that.
All told, it is truly a "Great Performance" as it says on the CD cover. Berman was more than a fine pianist, he was a musician. Highly recommended. "Report Abuse