Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Alexander Scriabin, Yuri Temirkanov, St. Petersburg Philharmonic|
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3, Scriabin Etudes [SACD]
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
Buy it for the Scriabin
Ronald L. Waits | Belleair, Fl United States | 01/14/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you purchase this recording do it for the Scriabin Etudes not for the Rachmaninoff. There are much finer recordings of this wonderful concerto available today. My disappointment with this recording had more to do with the sound of the orchestra (or more to the lack of sound) than with Lang Lang's performance. This fine young artist performed this dazzling showpiece for piano and orchestra brilliantly. What was missing was the orchestra. The St. Petersburg Philharmonic sounded like they were playing off stage, far, far away. Rachmaninoff's brilliant and exciting orchestration is almost absent on this recording. The orchestral sound was muted, fuzzy and lacked "presence". I kept reaching for the volume control on my new B&K pre.amp. to boost up the volume throughout the performance. This was particularly annoying in the first movement. The wonderful woodwind "adornments" in the coda of the exciting third movement just could not be heard well. This, as well as other important orchestral parts that were either inaudible or just missing on this recording was a major distraction to Lang Lang's wonderful performance. It was impossible to hear if the orchestra was "cutting it" or up to par with Lang Lang's virtuosity. This could be due to where and how it was recorded--Live at The Royal Albert Hall in London. Even so the wonderful technology of the SACD could not save it. If you're looking for an exciting performance of the Rachamaninoff No.3--in my opinion, Horacio Gutierrez and Lorin Maazel with the Pittsburgh Symphony on Telarc is one of the best of the "newer" recordings around. But, to me the best of the best is still the 1978 live performance by Horowitz with Eugene Ormandy and the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall.Lang Lang's Scriabin is worth having--It is a studio recording--Very fine."
What is all the hubbub about?
A. J. Sadowski | Edinburgh, UK | 10/14/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I actually do not understand what all the fuss is about with Lang Lang. I got cought up in it and decided to finally go and buy a recording of his and listen to it to make up my own mind. I was disappointed.
You see, Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto is a colossus of a concerto, it is as terrifying as it is impressive. I have many recordings of it (Martha Argerich, Vladimir Horowitz and one more on a blank cassette which has no artist name on it), and every time I listen to them, I tremble when I hear the first movement ossia cadenza (though out of the above only the unknown artist does it). This unknown pianist plays it visciously, relentlessly, and I feel I can hardly breathe under this assault of music.
Not so with Lang Lang. He overdoes the rubato abysmally, he starts it off as slowly as I would if I were practicing it. It sounds as if it was drunk. I though he would pick up some speed, that this was only a majestic emotional elongated opening to it (a big long sigh), but he didn't and it wasn't. Ditto for the third movement.
I felt slightly silly for having given in to public opinion and having spent 170 Swedish crowns on this CD. I'd give it away the the drunk at the bus stop if he asked for it.
I give it 2 stars nonetheless, simply because anyone who can play that concerto (at whatever speed) without cocking it up deserves some credit.
Sorry to dispel all the popular illusions...."