An excellent Rachmaninov sampler
Michael Whincop | GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY, QLD AUSTRALIA | 12/09/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A lot of Rachmaninov compilations give you one of his major sets and a few encore pieces. This disk, however, is one of the best selections one could ask for -- it is very well assembled, and includes some of the best known pieces (op. 3/2, 23/5), as well as some of best pieces that should be better known (op 32/8, 10). For completists, the set includes the complete op. 3 -- not just the obligatory c# minor prelude. I am particularly fond of the Pulcinella piece (op 3/4), which anticipates the composer's transcription of the Mendelssohn Scherzo, and shows a vein of caustic humour that would have served Prokofiev well.As usual with Hyperion, the sound is good. Demidenko is in excellent touch throughout the recital. As usual with the pianist, there is a wide range of colour and a strong sense of rhythm, as well as some very personal inflections. There are occasions where one doubts that Demidenko has really got his ideas straight. Op 39/5, which ends the disk, is an example, where the tempo is a bit too slow for the Siberian winds that blow through this piece. Elsewhere, his performances take wing, like the spacious op. 33/2, the supreme prelude op. 32/10, and the glittering op. 39/3; the famous pieces like 32/12 and 23/5 are all enjoyable, too. On balance, I enjoy this disk very much and hope that Demidenko returns to record a complete set of preludes and etudes."
Superb Rach Release
T. C. Haug | McLean, VA, USA | 01/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the best Rachmaninoff piano albums in existence. It is on par with Richter in terms of interpreting Rachmaninoff. The exitement, dynamism and lyricism that Demidenko brings to each piece is phenomenal. This is one thoughtful piece of work. This is not one of those dashed off "complete works" or "composer's greatist hits", type of album. Highly recommended"