Great Pianists Of The 20th Century Vol. 81 - Rachm

Album cover art for upc 028945694320
Label: PHILIPS
Catalog: 4569432
Format: CD

Sergei Rachmaninoff - piano

Disc: 1 1. Theme & Variations 1-14, 19-28, 31 & 32: Variations In C Minor, WoO 80 (Excerpts) 2. Ballade No.3 In A Flat, Op.47 3. Scherzo No.3 In C Sharp Minor, Op.39 4. Waltz No. 7 In C Sharp Minor, Op.64 No.2 5. Waltz No. 8 In A Flat, Op.64 No.3 6. Piano Sonata No.2 In B Flat Minor, Op.35 'Funeral March': 1 Grave. Doppio movimento 7. Piano Sonata No.2 In B Flat Minor, Op.35 'Funeral March': 2 Scherzo - Piu lento - Tempo I 8. Piano Sonata No.2 In B Flat Minor, Op.35 'Funeral March': 3 March funebre. Lento 9. Piano Sonata No.2 In B Flat Minor, Op.35 'Funeral March': 4 Finale. Presto 10. Carnaval, Op.9: 1 Preambule 11. Carnaval, Op.9: 2 Pierrot 12. Carnaval, Op.9: 3 Arlequin 13. Carnaval, Op.9: 4 Valse noble 14. Carnaval, Op.9: 5 Eusebius 15. Carnaval, Op.9: 6 Florestan 16. Carnaval, Op.9: 7 Coquette 17. Carnaval, Op.9: 8a Replique 18. Carnaval, Op.9: 8b Sphinxes 19. Carnaval, Op.9: 9 Papillons 20. Carnaval, Op.9: 10 A.S.C.H.-S.C.H.A. (Lettres dansantes) 21. Carnaval, Op.9: 11 Chiarina 22. Carnaval, Op.9: 12 Chopin 23. Carnaval, Op.9: 13 Estrella 24. Carnaval, Op.9: 14 Reconnaissance 25. Carnaval, Op.9: 15 Pantalon e Colombine 26. Carnaval, Op.9: 16a Valse Allamande 27. Carnaval, Op.9: 16b Intermezzo: Paganini - Valse allemande (reprise) 28. Carnaval, Op.9: 17 Aveu 29. Carnaval, Op.9: 18 Promenade 30. Carnaval, Op.9: 19 Pause 31. Carnaval, Op.9: 20 Marche des 'Davidsbundler' contre les Philistins 32. Chants polonais de Frederic Chopin, S.480: 1 The Maiden's Wish 33. Chants polonais de Frederic Chopin, S.480: 6 Return Home Disc: 2 1. Violin Partita No.3 In E, BWV 1006: Preludio 2. Violin Partita No.3 In E, BWV 1006: Gavotte 3. Violin Partita No.3 In E, BWV 1006: Gigue 4. Flight Of The Bumble-bee 5. Scherzo From 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' 6. Man lebt nur einmal (Valse caprice, Op.167 No.2) 7. Lullaby, Op.16 No.1 8. Novembre: Troika (From 'Les saisons,' Op.37b) 9. Rachmaninoff: Polka de V.R. 10. Prelude In C Sharp Minor, Op. No.2 11. Melody In E, Op.3 No.3 12. Humoresque In G, Op.10 No.5 13. Moment Musical In E Flat Minor, Op.16 No.2 14. Prelude In G Flat, Op.23 No.10 15. Prelude In E, Op.32 No.3 16. Prelude In F Minor, Op.32 No.6 17. Prelude In F, Op.32 No.7 18. Etude -Tableau In C, Op.33 No.2 19. Etude - Tableau In E Flat, Op.33 No.7 20. Daisies, Op.38 No.3 21. Oriental Sketch 22. Liebesleid 23. Liebesfreud

The commercial success of the Rachmaninoff disc A Window in Time defied the odds and became a chart topper: here were recordings not of the great pianist-composer but of his piano rolls. Only problem: they were just piano rolls. By contrast, these discs (part of Philips's comprehensive Great Pianists series) offer an affordable chance to hear the real Rach in action, and they're not to be missed. The composer's big hands tackle Chopin's Funeral March Sonata with a sobering grace and power that still sound timeless. Schumann's Carnival, despite low fidelity, is breathtaking in Rachmaninoff's colorful hands. Hearing the composer play his own works on disc 2 is a revelation: his style is neither flashy nor subdued. Oriental Sketch is expressive and rollicking but never overdone. The sound quality on these recordings ranges from fair to good (surface noise is always apparent), but to fans of Rachmaninoff (and great piano playing), a little hiss can be easily ignored. These recordings have a ton of character and life. --Jason Verlinde

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