Michelangeli's piano playing is simply one of a kind, eschewing all sorts of musical tendencies to fit his own vision of these works presented on this disc, making it some of the most amazing pianism with an uncanny musical intellect. He was a perfectionist and hated recording, so michelangeli must have felt these recordings did him justice in order for him to authorize their release. That said, on to the performances.
The playing is inimitable and michelangeli i felt knew so much about piano technique that new musical spheres are reached that lesser pianists simply could not dream of doing. His playing is immaculately clean, revealing all sorts of contrapunctal details, esp. in the rachmaninov, but what amazes me every time is the absolutely hypnotic second movement of the ravel. rarely have i ever heard music in which time seems to stop. the rachmaninov is stunning as well (what amazing chord playing!) and makes the sometimes trivial second movement, around the theme of "three blind mice" a beautifully rendered and melancholy experience. The climax of the third movement is staggering as well, esp. since michelangeli's restraint stops and he absolutely unleashes...this has got to be piano playing, or even artistry at its finest.
A must for piano lovers and essential for michelangeli buffs.