Author Topic: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos  (Read 6075 times)

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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It was exactly as I expected. :laugh:

Q

Very good.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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jlaurson

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Despite the Gramophone recommendation, I find this excellent. Underplays that which I don't like in Rachmaninoff... and comes closer to Rachmaninoff's own (2nd) recording, in doing so. Very fluid, silvery... not brassy or bombastic.





S. Rachmaninoff, The Piano Concertos
S.Hough / A.Litton / Dallas SO
Hyperion

German link - UK link


Other favorites are the standards: Argerich 3rd, Michelangeli 4th... Zimerman 1 & 2

Offline North Star

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I recall liking what I've heard of the Hough set very well, too.

Now, are there still sets nobody has recommended?  :D
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Offline mc ukrneal

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I recall liking what I've heard of the Hough set very well, too.

Now, are there still sets nobody has recommended?  :D
I think Wild wasn't mentioned!  ???
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Offline ChamberNut

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Richard Clayderman?
Location:  Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Offline Jo498

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I frankly do not care very much for the music, except the Paganinis (and do not know the 1st and 4th concerti very well) but as an "alternative" reading Kocsis seems also a good option because he also seems to favor fairly swift tempi and does not indulge overmuch (I only know his disc with 2nd + Paganini, because see above).
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
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Against the drums of dawn.
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Offline George

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Despite the Gramophone recommendation, I find this excellent.

This made me laugh. Thanks!  :)
"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lefébure

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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    probably something somebody somewhere is snickering at...wait, Schoenberg! Definitely Schoenberg! (And, let's see, does he have a disciple or two...)...
Well, since Karlo asked... 8) ...(sort of)...

I enjoy a cobbled set of concertos above any of the complete sets.

For the 1st and 3rd concertos, it's Janis for me, but I much prefer his earlier take of the 3rd with the more effusive and forceful Munch. Dorati is too lean for me in the later remake of the 3rd.

For the 2nd, Richter has been mentioned but my favorite is Weissenberg coupled with Karajan, who does the music proud by providing true accompaniment rather than trying to dominate (probably hard to do with Weissenberg anyway!).

For the 4th, Michelangeli is it, but from what I recall a later EMI remastering purportedly didn't make the grade which led to some murky sound (haven't heard it myself). I have the very first CD incarnation and the transfer here is dynamite, rich and clear (pictured below if anyone is curious).









Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Drasko

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My absolutely preferred set is composers own, either RCA or Naxos. If forced to choose more modern one I found Lugansky to be most satisfactory all around. Individual favorites would be Zimerman and Richter in 1, Moiseiwitsch in 2, Horowitz and Sokolov in 3, and Michelangeli in 4th.   

Offline Brian

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I frankly do not care very much for the music, except the Paganinis (and do not know the 1st and 4th concerti very well)
When I was younger, my preference was

2
3
Paganini
didn't like the others

then it was 3 first, the rest the same

Now, 2 is my least favorite of the 5, Paganini is at the very top, and 1 and 4 are rapidly gaining ground. They are terrific.

Offline Jo498

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When I was younger I was too arrogant/biased to listen to too-late-romantic stuff like Rachmaninov at all... I never much liked the 2nd, find the 3rd (deemed one of the greatest piano concerti by some, I guess) overrated as well but I admit that I have not spent enough time with 1 and 4.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline mc ukrneal

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When I was younger, my preference was

2
3
Paganini
didn't like the others

then it was 3 first, the rest the same

Now, 2 is my least favorite of the 5, Paganini is at the very top, and 1 and 4 are rapidly gaining ground. They are terrific.
I think overexposure on #2 is a problem for many.
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Offline Wanderer

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I think overexposure on #2 is a problem for many.

Indeed. The Fourth is my favourite at the moment, and has been for many years. More angular, incisive and urgent than the rest, it presents a welcome juxtaposition with most people's expectations of what Rachmaninov would sound like. I second the above recommendations for the Michelangeli 4, Argerich 3, Richter 2, Zimerman 1 & 2, Andsnes, Wild and Lugansky sets. Let me add to these the excellent Volodos 3. And for a superb Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Sudbin is not to be missed.

Rudy, which the OP opted for, is quite good and I'm sure it will satisfy.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2016, 12:46:11 AM by Wanderer »

Offline amw

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When I was younger I was too arrogant/biased to listen to too-late-romantic stuff like Rachmaninov at all...
I'm still in that stage... don't really have much patience for his concertos & most of the piano music, it all seems very self-indulgent and derivative (Chaikovsky + Chopin?). That said I'm not totally averse to the piano music, quite like the Symphonic Dances for instance, where he gets out of his shell a little more.

I got to know the music from I think the Ashkenazy/Some Conductor recordings, which my parents had on cassette? Does that sound possible? I currently have the Brilliant issue of Rudy/Jansons recommended above which I think is fast but not in any way small-scale, hard-edged, light on lyricism and doesn't malinger but don't quote me on that, I can't recall the last time I listened to any of it.

edit: July 2015. Huh. I guess I find Rach pretty forgettable.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2016, 12:46:46 AM by amw »

Offline Jo498

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I do not know the piano solo music well enough to name pieces although I have listened to several anthologies and have some on my shelves, at least as fillers (half a disk with Richter, e.g).
My favorite pieces of the composer are the Paganini variations and the symphonic dances (the dies irae somehow never gets old for me...). But I listened to the 3rd symphony a few months ago and was somewhat positively surprised so I kind of plan to re-listen to the symphonies eventually, and also to concerti 1+4

I was never over-exposed to Rachmaninov. I found the 2nd pc a piece of overblown shmaltz basically from the first encounter but I have grown more tolerant and almost like it once a year.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
« Reply #35 on: January 29, 2016, 03:37:06 AM »
We played the Second while I was at Wooster. Its ubiquity makes me hesitant to claim I hadn't heard it before, but the facts are that my parents never listened to classical music, and that playing in the orchestra was absolutely the first time I heard the whole piece, start to finish. And, of course, I came to know it inside out.

I loved the piece immediately, then, love and admire it without qualification now, and I do not believe there has been any period in the interval when I ever "less than liked" it. (I do take the point that carpet-bomb saturation can turn one against even a piece one likes very much; but this misfortune never befell me in the case of this work.)
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline amw

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But I listened to the 3rd symphony a few months ago and was somewhat positively surprised so I kind of plan to re-listen to the symphonies eventually
Hmm. I did some searching, and found out there's an orchestral version of the Symphonic Dances, and it's often paired with the Symphony No. 3 on recordings. I might check No. 3 out therefore (I chose the recording by David Zinman & Baltimore, which is now in my to-listen-to qobuz playlist) and see if it goes. Might be the sort of thing worth acquiring if so. (If not, I'll probably get the Kondrashin recording that pairs the Dances with The Bells, which I have another recording of already and don't more than sorta-like but I can't resist Kondrashin as a rule.)
« Last Edit: January 29, 2016, 04:00:02 AM by amw »

Offline George

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  • Hey Bert!


Easy first choice for me for a complete set: Kocsis.  He even makes the Third sound enjoyable. Ashkenazy would be second. Individual recordings by Janis, Cliburn, Richter, and Zimerman also tickle my fancy.

Which Ashkenazy set? The Previn? (I'm considering it, that's why I am asking)
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Offline Roasted Swan

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Quite surprised no-one mentioned the remarkable Earl Wild set with Jascha Horenstein and the RPO.  Blazing music making and available at silly bargain prices....



around £3.00 delivered in the UK - all 5 concertante works on 2 discs.  Classic Readers Digest (Gerhardt & Wilkinson production) recording re-released on Chandos.

Offline vandermolen

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You mustn't miss these two recordings:



For a complete set I've always liked the Earl Wild/Horenstein recordings.
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