Rachmaninov as a Concertist

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Rachmaninov as a Concertist

Based on some one of the posts in which the best interpreters of Rachmaninov's symphonies were discussed. I thought I might extrapolate on this point and look at some recordings were Rachmaninov plays his own piano compositions. I have only included two here for review (if others wish to add their own recommendations for listening please feel free to do so).

Rachmaninoff Plays Rachmaninoff: The 4
Piano Concertos
Label: RCA
Catalogue No:
09026616582

There is some slight hissing in this recording, but not to such an extent, that the ambiance of the performance is degraded. The first and fourth concertos are beautifully played but from my perspective they don't compare to the third. It is here that you can see why Rachmaninoff was regarded as one of the foremost pianists of the twenty century . He plays with such passion without closing control and illustrates perfectly the pathos of this work.

Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
Label: RCA (in conjunction with Zenph)
Catalogue No:
88697489712

From my understanding the process used to record Rachmaninoff works involved the original audio being converted into a live performance through Zenph own softeware ( see www.zenph.com site for more details) and then re-recorded.

There are five piano works recorded here each in two formats. Zenph Studios Re-Performance Stereo Version and Zenph Stereo Re-Performance Binaural Stereo Version. This means that each work is recorded twice ( one in each format)

I will have to say from the outset that I did not like this recording at all. The resulting product while crystal clear (as per the claims on the recordings blurb) was completely sterile It is almost as if the complete persona of Rachmaninoff has been stripped from this recording, that is there is nothing of Rachmaninoff here only an empty husk.

It also appeared from my perspective that all the works played seemed heavier than they should have been ( almost a battering of the keyboard) with no disurnable variance in tempo for let us say Tchaikovsky’s Lullaby, Op 16, No 1 or Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C-sharp Minor, Op 3, No 2.

In summary Rachmaninoff Plays Rachmaninoff: The 4 Piano Concertos is my current preference at this point in time.

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