Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 1, Paganini Rhapsody / Pletnev

Release Date: 10/3/2012
Label: Erato
Catalog Number: VIR 61976
Performer: Mikhail Pletnev
Conductor: Libor Pesek
Orchestra/Ensemble: Philharmonia Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

CD
Low Stock
$17.99
Notes and Editorial Reviews
Mikhail Pletnev and Libor Pešek's 1988 Rachmaninov disc makes a welcome reappearance. Pešek launches the concerto with a refreshing athleticism, resisting the temptation to make the opening horn fanfare an imitation of Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony. Pletnev matches this energy with his own brisk and fluid pacing, making for a performance that's stunning in its clarity and power. Yet for all this, Pletnev lends the music a Chopinesque poetic sensitivity (especially in the slow movement) that's quite affecting.

Ah, but it's in the Paganini Rhapsody where the sparks really fly. Pletnev invests each variation with a specific vibrancy that perfectly defines its individual character, all the while magically relating each to the whole--and his spectacular playing in the Scherzando Variation 15 will have you reaching for the repeat button. Pešek leads the Philharmonia in a vital and colorful performance and offers a particularly moving rendition of the famous Andante Cantabile variation. This is a fine effort overall, though not one to shake me from my coveted Rubinstein/Reiner classic on RCA. Virgin's recording indicates a large venue, but there's plenty of presence, depth, and clarity to the sound.

--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
1. Concerto for Piano no 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 1 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer: Mikhail Pletnev (Piano)
Conductor: Libor Pesek
Orchestra/Ensemble: Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1891/1917 ; Russia
2. Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, Op. 43 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer: Mikhail Pletnev (Piano)
Conductor: Libor Pesek
Orchestra/Ensemble: Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1934 ; USA
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