Unlike most composer/pianists, Rachmaninoff's instrumental prowess was fully commensurate with his creative gifts. He embraces his youthful First Concertos as if he had encountered an old lover, consumating his passion with stupefying fingerwork in the first movement cadenza. Conversely, the composer seems bored in the Third. He laconically dispatches its torrents of notes, opts for the easier ossias in difficult passages, and makes cuts in the first and third movements. And pianists like Arturo Michelangeli and Earl Wild have recorded more incisive, demonic Rach Fourths. No question about the Paganini Rhapsody and Second Concerto, where Rachmaninoff's fierce authority and luscious, molten tone permeate every bar. RCA's transfers, however, could have been better. --Jed Distler
If You Enjoy "Rachmaninoff Plays Rachmaninoff: The 4 Piano Concertos (CD)", May We Also Recommend:
These recordings were originally made circa 1936 about 7 years before
Rachmaninoff died in the old 78 rpm format after returning from a New Orleans
Concert gig to his home in Hollywood. The unfortunate part of this ---is that
often things had to be cut out to fit into this format and recording was a stop
and go process. Most often less than 10 minutes of music could be put on a 78
rpm disc but the quality of music in these groves was high before being damaged
by the needles of that error. Today, we have optical devices that can read these
groves instead of needles that show us just what marvels were achieved back then
from the days of the mechanical reoording (where performers had to shout or play
as loud as possibil) to the 1930s electrical recordings which was then the
difference between lps and cds today.
These recordings were then re-incarnated
in the 1960-1970 period on LP and these have been transfered now to CD.
Rachmaninoff was a superb composer as well as Pianist. He understood the Piano
format very well and if one sees the sheet music that this music is printed
on---one sees that what is being played is very difficult music to play---and it
is suppose to be as a Concerto is a show off piece for the Star performer--in
this case Rachmaninoff himself.
It is very difficult to out do Rachmaninoffs
interpetation of his own music --after all he wrote it but occasionally one does
find performers who do a composers music better than the composer him or
Related Products All of the recordings that Rachmaninoff ever made from the early 1900 recordings
that include Chopins famous Sooata that includes the Funeral March to these last
recordings he made before he died 30 March 1943.