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Rachmaninov: 4 Piano Concertos/Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 1 2003)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Chn
  • ASIN: B00009AQMJ
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #57,612 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. I. Vivace
2. II. Andante
3. III. Allegro Vivace
4. I. Moderato
5. II. Adagio Sostenuto
6. III. Allegro Scherzando
Disc: 2
1. I. Allegro
2. II. Intermezzo. Adagio -
3. III. Finale. Allegro
4. I. Allegro
5. II. Largo -
6. III. Allegro Vivace
7. Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini, Op. 43


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Scott L. Leather on Dec 27 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is a reissue of a reissue...these performances having been recorded originally in the 1960's for Reader's Digest. The performances are simply fabulous! Both conductor and soloist are magnificent in these full-blooded, exciting virtuoso performances. Unfortunately, the 3rd concerto is played with the same cuts Horowitz and Rachmaninoff himself used in their recordings (the earlier Horowitz ones; the one with Ormandy is complete). But don't let that stop you. Wild plays the absolute hell out of the 3rd concerto! And the rest of the performances are just as good. You can't go wrong with this set of all the concertos and the Paganini Rhapsody. Easily one of the best complete sets out there and one of the best 3rds ever recorded!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bob Cariboo on June 6 2010
Format: Audio CD
Something has to be done about shipping. I bought 3 of these to give as gifts and they all arrived with smashed jewel cases. The music inside is wonderful.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Don't let the age of these performances fool you! Dec 27 2003
By Mr. Scott L. Leather - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is a reissue of a reissue...these performances having been recorded originally in the 1960's for Reader's Digest. The performances are simply fabulous! Both conductor and soloist are magnificent in these full-blooded, exciting virtuoso performances. Unfortunately, the 3rd concerto is played with the same cuts Horowitz and Rachmaninoff himself used in their recordings (the earlier Horowitz ones; the one with Ormandy is complete). But don't let that stop you. Wild plays the absolute hell out of the 3rd concerto! And the rest of the performances are just as good. You can't go wrong with this set of all the concertos and the Paganini Rhapsody. Easily one of the best complete sets out there and one of the best 3rds ever recorded!
35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Virtuoso playing in great classic performances ... March 12 2006
By Pater Ecstaticus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I must warn the reader that I write this (and any other) review mainly for my own pleasure, and to (hopefully and to some reasonable extent clearly) convey to any other person my ideas about what I like or don't like about a recording (hoping to gain some sympathy, consequently ;-). I do not have any true musical knowledge whatsoever: I can't read music and I do not have any knowledge about any of the technical aspects of music as such. So necessarily, any and every review I lay down before you is simply the result of what I hear and feel are the characteristics and/or differences between certain recordings, and what I love about them ...

If I may be allowed to draw a comparison between different performances, I would like to compare these recordings with the ones by Howard Shelley (on Chandos). Elsewhere I have described those performances by Howard Shelley as finely crafted, whereby every note is - to my ear - given extra poignancy. The recordings of Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto's by Earl Wild are different. They are more bold performances in the 'romantic' (?) manner maybe, whereby the melodies are played with beautiful legato and are given extra sweep and grandure (helped by the orchestra), with astounding technical bravoura (I can't read music, but this should be obvious even to me?!).

Anyhow, I love these performances, as they are bold, sweeping, full-blooded, with such beautiful (what I would, for lack of a better word, like to call 'singing' or 'soaring') legato. My favorite would be Piano Concerto No. 4. Also, the Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini here receives - to my ears - a wonderfully noble performance, full of technical bravoura (also by the orchestra). (It is certainly one of my favorite pieces for piano and orchestra!)

Nobility of playing is also a defining characteristic everywhere in these recordings, I think, but as a result of this nobility (and maybe exultancy), there may have been a slight loss of lyricism and intimacy in the Second Concerto ... Anyhow, the recorded sound is very full and wide, so that one is able to revel in all of the orchestral and pianistic colors. These are heart-warmingly virtuosic, classic performances that - to the ears of this particular amateur listener - lift this music to a higher plain of excellence, and I - for what it is worth - would like to recommend them to you without reserve.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
ALL IN ALL, UNBEATABLE! Dec 18 2006
By Hannibal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Let's face it. A case can be made for Janis/Reiner in the First Concerto. A case can be made for several in the Second Concerto, and if you can put up with the execrable sound, the Horowitz/Barbirolli remains at the summit of all the Third Concertos, and finally a case can be made for Michelangeli/Gracis for the Fourth Concerto, but NO ONE, absolutely NO ONE, has produced a complete set of such supreme pianistic splendor as Wild has here (despite a few cuts sanctioned by the composer).

If you love Rachmaninov, buy this now. CASE CLOSED.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
RIP Earl Wild Jan. 29 2010
By Ursiform - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I read in the LA Times earlier in the week that Earl Wild has died. It mentioned that many consider his performances of the Rachmaninov concertos to be the best ever recorded. Count me in. I bought them on cassette, and loved them. I bought this set, remastered on CD, when it became available. It appears the recordings are now available as MP3s, as well. What a deal for these five, great works!

Rachmaninov's own recordings are well worth hearing, but don't offer modern sound quality. Wild's, while dating from the 1960s, have been remastered to sound great, and his performances are terrific, virtuosic with a clear, clean sound.

We have lost a great pianist and, more rarely, a great American pianist.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Even Dec 2 2011
By John H. Borders - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Rachmaninoff, in his-famous recordings w/Stokowski and others, could hardly match THIS partnership, in many aspects. The "old" Russian (from Kiev) - Horenstein - was in his LATER years, but he and the Orchestra are exceptional. This is one of the GREAT Concerto cycles, of any composer, of any time. There's hardly a note, nor phrase, that could be-changed ... and Earl Wild shows, BOTH, a technical brilliance, AND a subtle/modulated touch, when and where it's needed. Overall, this 45-year-old recording should be KNOWN, as one of the best of ALL, of any type, in classical pianism, with Orchestra.

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