Noriko Ogawa and the Malmö Symphony Orchestra return to the works of Rachmaninov with a disc featuring his first and fourth piano concertos and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Rachmaninov’s first concerto was written while he was a student at the Moscow Concervatory, but underwent considerable revisions up to 1917.
Julius Katchen took to the Romantic piano concerto repertoire as if all the war-horses…were written especially for him…The stereo Katchen/Boult Rachmaninov Paganini Rhapsody and Dohnanyi Variations generally improve upon the mono versions (reissued on Dutton), notwithstanding more incisive competition past and present. Katchen's awesome fingerwork cuts through the Rachmaninov Second Concerto's notey labyrinths like Drano tearing through a clogged sink. Solti's scorching, whiplash accompaniment has a galvanizing effect on the London Symphony musicians, who play their collective tuchus off.(Jed Distler - ClassicsToday)
In my own compositions, no conscious effort has been made to be original, or Romantic or Nationalistic, or anything else. I write down on paper the music I hear within me, as naturally as possible…
These performances, dating from the 80s when the young Russian pianist was at his peak (he soon withdrew himself from the music scene), are among the best for Rachmaninoff's music.
S.V.Rachmaninov wrote two cycles of piano variations: on a theme by Chopin (in Russia at the beginning of this century) and on a theme by Corelli (in New York in 1931). These remarkable works separated by almost 30 years have had different destinies. The Corelli Variations which have become part of concert repertoire are often performed and recorded on discs. In contrast, Variations on a Theme of Chopin, after their performance by the author in Moscow in February 1903, have not appeared in pianists' programmes for almost 70 years...V.Eresko, from the LP cover
BIS present two works composed by Sergei Rachmaninov, featuring virtuoso pianist Yevgeny Sudbin alongside the Singapore Symphony Orchestra under Lan Shui. Rachmaninov composed Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini after a seven-year silence, and consists of 24 variations taken from Paganini’s 24th Caprice for solo violin. The Rhapsody was soon followed by his Third Symphony. Its themes have a marked Russian character used with great subtlety.
With her winning combination of consummate technical brilliance, fine musicianship, and personal verve, the pianist Xiayin Wang captures the hearts of audiences wherever she appears. She is achiving high levels of recognision for her commanding performances as a recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestral soloist in such venues as New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. This is Wang’s second disc for Chandos Records. Her previous disc, of piano works by Earl Wild, was an ‘International Piano Choice’ in International Piano.