Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Arcadi Volodos, James Levine|
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 3/ Solo Piano Works
Volodos is the real thing, a flamboyant virtuoso with a great sense of style, tonal variety, and the kind of dexterity that draws attention to itself without taking your mind off the music. Rachmaninoff's Third is perfect ... more »
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Volodos is the real thing, a flamboyant virtuoso with a great sense of style, tonal variety, and the kind of dexterity that draws attention to itself without taking your mind off the music. Rachmaninoff's Third is perfect repertoire for him, and he delivers an astonishing performance that combines fluency with weight. For those who found Argerich's Rachmaninoff 3 too brilliant, this performance will be deeply satisfying, the best of its kind since Weissenberg-Pretre of three decades ago. The alert, purposeful playing of the Berlin Philharmonic under James Levine adds greatly to the total impression. The recording and performance invite such concentration that you'll be startled to hear applause at the end. The solo pieces, including a transcription by Volodos of a movement from the Cello Sonata, are also beautifully played. --Leslie Gerber
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Quite Simply The Best Rach 3rd Out There Today
Mr. Scott L. Leather | Tucson, AZ United States | 12/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am frankly, flabbergasted as to the negative criticisms of this recording! It is simply, sonically AND artistically the best performance of this concerto on the market today. It's better than the Weissenberg/Pretre version. It's better than Argerich! Yes, it's even better than Horowitz himself! It's simply astonishing. I have over 50 recordings of this piece and this one surpasses them all. I have recently listened to every one of the recordings I have, and none even come close. The sound is fantastic. The playing sublime.Volodos plays the entire work without any cuts for starters unlike the Horowitz, Janis, Wild, Watts and Rachmaninoff, himself, versions and connects the whole thing together structurally tight as a drum. Volodos plays the heavier cadenza in the first movement, and quite simply, gives the most stunning performance of it I've ever heard. The only person who comes close is Cliburn's legendary 1959 recording, but the sound isn't as good, obviously, and Cliburn doesn't have Volodos' sense of spine-tingling drama and excitement (though, I'd have to say Cliburn's rendition is not far behind).Volodos' playing of the 2nd movement is beautiful beyond compare. He takes the 3rd movement at a breakneck speed and one can hear just about every note, unlike many performances (Argerich's for one) where half the notes on the piano aren't even audible. Argerich's performance, while fantastic, is simply not as well thought out, technically as perfect, nor as carefully prepared as Volodos'.Levine and the Berlin Philharmonic are excellent and the sound quality is the best I've ever heard on a live recording. I would be interested to know how much touch-up work was done on it if any. The piano can be heard properly at all times unlike many newer Rach 3rds that try to "integrate" the orchestral and piano parts so it sounds like a symphony, which it is NOT. IT'S A PIANO CONCERTO and the piano needs to be heard almost all the time as the most prominent player; and this recording fills the bill most expertly.Bravo to the Sony engineers for doing such a fantastic job; bravo to James Levine and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra for such beautiful accompaniment; and, finally, kudos and bravissimo to Volodos. Quite simply one of the greatest pianists of his generation in my opinion."
Priorityviolins | Westerville, OH USA | 11/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This new recording of the Rachmaninoff 3rd Piano Concerto is one of the finest ever made. The performances of Volodos and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra are scintillating. Unlike the Horowitz/Ormandy recording where Horowitz and Ormandy start out together, go their own ways, and return together at the end, Volodos and Levine are in sync throughout the concerto. Volodos performs the broader cadenza in the 1st movement which is much more difficult and more sweeping than the first one. Horowitz would not perform this cadenza feeling it distracted from the climax in the 3rd movement. I never agreed with Horowitz on this and much prefer this gigantic cadenza. Volodos' performance of the cadenza, and the whole concerto for that matter, is simply awesome. The recorded sound is very good for a live recording.The Volodos transcription of the Andante from the Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor, Opus 19 is beyond description. It is one of the finest piano pieces I have ever heard.Overall, this is a wonderful Rachmaninoff disc with first-rate performances. The 3rd Piano Concerto may very well become the standard by which other performances will be compared. I highly recommend this recording to any lover of great piano music."
Performance leaves you breathless.....and inspired
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 08/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Few pianists have the sheer power of sound, dexterity, and brilliance of interpretation of Arcadi Volodos. This collaboration (and it is definitely that) with James Levine and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra results in the most perfect Rachmaninoff Third Piano Concerto on records. The pianist is a Romantic Poet who pays heed to all the pathos and melancholy hidden beneath the surface of this relentlessly testing concerto while pulling from the keyboard all the fire and dazzling virutosity inherent in this piece. Levine is at one with Volodos and when they are tutti the effect is nearly unbearably beautiful. And as if the performance of the concerto weren't enough, Vlodos comes back for encores that include samples of the Preludes, the Morceaux de salon, and a wondrous piano transcription of a Rachmaninoff work for cello and piano. The quality of production of this live performance is so well engineered that you would swear you were hearing the 'perfect studio recording'. But then that luminous quality of listening to music in the hall with the electricity of a nonstop performance makes the concerto truly sing. No matter how many recordings you may have of this oft recorded concerto, you will find much new and revealing here! Highly Recommended!"