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Pno Ctos 2/3

Sergei Rachmaninov Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 13.11 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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1. I. Moderato
2. II. Adagio Sostenuto
3. III. Allegro Scherzando
4. I. Allegro Ma Non Tanto
5. II. Intermezzo: Adagio
6. III. Finale: Alla Breve

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Amazon.ca

If you're looking for really good Rachmaninoff in top-of-the-line digital sound, then this is the recording of choice. It's curious that these often-recorded works are so difficult to bring off on record. There are many options, but the great versions have been around for decades. These performances challenge the past triumphantly, being neither too self-indulgently slow, nor merely empty virtuosity. Rachmaninoff's concertos are more like symphonies with piano solos--the piano accompanies the orchestra as much as the other way around, and great performances understand the need for an unprecedented degree of cooperation between soloist and conductor. It's a lesson that Lorin Maazel and Horacio Gutierrez have certainly learned, as you can hear for yourself. --David Hurwitz

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great recording and performances except for... Dec 14 2003
Format:Audio CD
...dynamics. For some reason, it seems Mr. Maazel can't get the orchestra to play below a mezzo forte. That's the problem with this recording. It's almost always loud even in soft passages decreasing the emotional punch of the performance. I fear it's Maazel's fault and the recording engineers as Gutierrez is pretty much playing prominently as he should. But when the orchestra should be quiet it's playing at least at a mf. The lack of dynamics on the soft end cause this recording to be rated 4 instead of 5 stars in my opinion. This is still a worthwhile performance to have but I recommend the Volodos version instead. The sonics are as good, if not better, the performance is mind-blowing and it's a live performance to boot.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Rachmaninoff 2 & 3 July 9 2002
Format:Audio CD
This is the best CD in the world. It contains perfect performances of the best musical compositions ever! Buy it now, then you can finish reading this.
My interest in classical music began years ago with this very CD, when I checked it out from the library for no reason. I never experienced such intense musical pleasure in my life. I am the kind of person that appreciates music much more for composition than performance. In a classical recording, I look for a spotless, untainted production of the composer's intent. I don't want it to be altered by an artist's individual interpretations. So, in light of this musical philosophy, I confidently declare that this album is absolutely perfect. The recording is balanced. The temperament is neutral. Is that bad? No. It allows the emotion of Rachmaninoff's composition to come through at 100%.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Highly Accomplished! Nov. 14 2001
Format:Audio CD
When a record outfit with the resources of Telarc takes on a mainstay such as the "Rach Three," we practically expect the outcome to be the new digital reference for that work. Their track record, as far as sound quality, is that good. They don't skimp on artistic talent either: Horacio Gutiérrez has been recording at a rapid pace of late, commensurate with his talent I think. As technique and elegance go, he's the Itzhak Perlman of the piano, working miracles with a minimum of apparent effort. Maazel was the conducting prodigy, who at fifteen led teenager Byron Janis on a romp through the Rachmaninoff Second. Today he's considered "temperamental."
In music that is all about temperament, Maazel and Gutiérrez choose to play it safe. Granted, some of the tempos they take would have lesser pianists bleeding over the keys, but Gutiérrez always has it well in hand - whether it's the power chords of the Alla breve are hammered out with ease. The cadenza (he plays the abridged version) thunders politely. There was a potential in this recording for complete mayhem, the kind of emotional volatility that makes Sviatoslav Richter's Second and Earl Wild's Third spine-tingling. Not that I believe that a great performance must strike fear in the listener, but there should be a moment when the audience is transported unexpectedly, a Busonian moment when the music "dematerializes" and is all around us.
I have some minor quibbles. In the Third Concerto, the developmental material of the first movement, when it does not concern the piano, is pushed along at a faster tempo. Does Maazel find these transitions academic? Immediately preceding the cadenza, he gives the eerie falling motif in the strings short shrift by waving the players on through.
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5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC April 3 2001
Format:Audio CD
When I bought this copy of the rach 2 and 3 I expected to be impressed but I was simply amazed at the brilliance of the performances! Firstly, I believe that Gutierrez is an outstanding player, and his passion especially shows during the more demanding sections of the rach 3! Another person who reviwed this cd stated that it was all rushed!Balderdash!If anything the rach3 especially is ofton taken at such a slow tempo that the russian passion and agression that is the rach3 is lost!The performances on the cd a show the way that both pieces shoud be played! The first movment cadenzas of the rach 3 are simply stunning!Gutierrez really is amazing! Mazzals orchestra sound superb, and also display the passion that these pieces deserve! The sound quality is perfect, and the balance of the instuments is perfect. If you love rachmaninoff you must buy this cd! I actually own two copies in case something happens to one!!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Surprising lack of depth........ March 27 2001
Format:Audio CD
I am somewhat dismayed at the reviews of this disc. I found both perf's hurried and therefore lacking any insight. Why? I watched Gutierrez perform the 3rd on the PBS series Previn and the Pittsburgh and that was by all accounts for me, the best "Rach3" I've heard. I had also heard that Maazel and Gutierrez weren't exactly hitting it off too well when they were preparing this piece for the Pittsburgh public. This Rach 3 just wasn't what I expected.
As far as the 2nd goes, Gutierrez and the Pgh orchestra do fine, but this too is a rushed and hasty affair, no matter how few to no mistakes there are. One would do better with Jeno Jando's 2nd on NAXOS.
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