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Sergei Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 3 & 4
Sergey Rachmaninov, Kurt Sanderling, Berlin Symphony Orchestra
Sergei Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 3 & 4
Genre: Classical
 

     
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Worth every cent and then sone
Jon. Yungkans | Whittier, CA USA | 04/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The recorded sound on this disc is unusually warm, spacious and detailed. Rosel and Sanderling take their time with the Rachmaninov concertos. This allows themes room to breathe, and passages that normally sound frenzied or unimportant gain power and expressive weight.

The Third Concerto, the longest and most dramatic of the four numbered concertos, is given the most urgent performance in the set, coming closest, tempo-wise, to other accounts. But while Rosel and Sanderling keep the piece moving, they do not skimp on details; neither do they shortchange this work's inherent strum und drang. They let the music speak for itself, from a flowing, songful opening in keeping with the hymn-like opening theme to the triumphant final measures - alternately seductive, melancholic and heaven-storming - and the payoff is enormous.

Rosel plays the longer ossias cadenza favored by Ashkenazy and Gieseking. In his hands, the passagework surges with equal parts poetry and fire, with Rosel alternately singing and orchestrating from the keyboard brilliantly.

The Fourth Concerto is given a commanding performance, one that plays up the work's strengths and almost belies the its weaknesses compared to its three sister works and the Paganini Rhapsody. Nothing is overstated, and the performers play the music as dynamically as they can without going over the edge (as Thibaudet and Ashkenazy come dangerously close to doing in their recording of this piece). In short, they do the best with the materials they have on hand.



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