This is a wonderful collection of all the great composer's known works, and is a must buy for anyone who enjoy's Rachmaninoff. While most of the recordings are not perhaps the absolute best that are out there, they are all still, for the most part, quite good. The only real issues I can find with this set are two rather small ones. On the recording of the symphonic poem The Isle of the Dead, there is an odd static-like sound that starts at about 17 minutes into the piece, which then disappears briefly, before reappearing once more. It is rather irritating, especially considering that the rest of the recording is very nice.
Argentinian pianist Martha Argerich is widely regarded as one of the greatest pianists of the second half of the twentieth century. In celebration of her 75th birthday, Sony Classical is pleased to release Martha Argerich The Complete Sony Classical Recordings, a new 5-CD original jackets collection featuring two albums available for the first time on CD remastered from the original analogue tapes. Argerich rose to international prominence when she won the seventh International Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 1965 at age 24. In that same year, she debuted in the U.S. in Lincoln Center s Great Performers Series.
Russian pianist Denis Matsuev has established himself as one of the most dynamic and virtuosic performers of his generation, and his program on this RCA album with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic is ideally suited to his extraordinary abilities. The pairing of Sergey Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor and George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue is a natural one, particularly because of the works' shared post-romanticism (note Rachmaninov's influence on Gershwin's slow theme in the Rhapsody), as well as for the dazzling writing for the piano in both works. Of course, the challenge for Matsuev is to make his part appear effortless, and he succeeds so well in both performances that listeners may be a bit blasé about his playing, taking it in without really considering what knuckle-busters these pieces really are.
Serious piano collectors and lovers of Rachmaninoff’s music, as well as those willing to be convinced of the greatness of this sonata, won’t want to miss this CD. A most auspicious debut.
Argentinian pianist Martha Argerich is widely regarded as one of the greatest pianists of the second half of the twentieth century. In celebration of her 75th birthday, Sony Classical is pleased to release Martha Argerich The Complete Sony Classical Recordings, a new 5-CD original jackets collection featuring two albums available for the first time on CD remastered from the original analogue tapes.
Sergey Rachmaninov's All-Night Vigil, also known as the Vespers, is among his most admired works, and it was one of the composer's own favorites, along with The Bells. This 2015 Chandos release by Charles Bruffy and the combined voices of the Phoenix Chorale and the Kansas City Chorale presents the music in the super audio format, so the richness of the divisi choral parts and the depth of the basso profundo come across fully in the multichannel reproduction. Bruffy is the musical director of both groups, so his special rapport with them creates an even ensemble blend that balances the largely homophonic textures, and brings a consistency of approach to the three styles of chant Rachmaninov imitated, Kievan, Greek, and Znamenny. The beauty of the a cappella voices and the surprisingly lush harmonies make this setting immediately appealing and ultimately moving, and listeners who enjoy sacred choral music for inspiration or meditation will find the All-Night Vigil's smooth flow and expressive warmth well-suited to those purposes.