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The Music Room => Great Recordings and Reviews => Topic started by: JLR on January 22, 2016, 06:22:15 AM

Title: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: JLR on January 22, 2016, 06:22:15 AM
I have perused through the extensive threads on the Rachmaninov Concerto Review project.  Thanks for all that hard work.  I am wanting a single disc (or box) with all the piano concertos.  Or maybe two discs if necessary.  So I am seeking a compromise--best set altogether rather than XXX for Concerto 1, YYY for Concerto 2, ZZZ for concerto 3, etc.

I am new to Rachmaninov and confessedly by the standards of this board under-educated musically.  This is what I have: 

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41GTWNB4FSL.jpg)

I bought it on a lark in a used bookstore.  I enjoy it, but I am guessing there is something better out there.

Here are some recordings I am looking at (based in part on the Review Project). 






.

This last is obviously only 2 and 3, but if I am advised that this is a must have, I would be interested in this plus another recording that has the other two.

I really appreciate the advice.  This is the most knowledgeable music forum (or really forum on any subject matter) that I have ever stumbled across.
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: North Star on January 22, 2016, 06:35:11 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41GTWNB4FSL.jpg)
I bought it on a lark in a used bookstore.  I enjoy it, but I am guessing there is something better out there.

Well it depends on what you want the performances be like. I don't know the Bronfman/Salonen, but I would be surprised if it wasn't at least good.

The Rudy/Jansons has the advantage of getting the Paganini Rhapsody and Tchaikovsky PC 1 in the same go, of course. Another set of the four concertos to consider is Andsnes, though.

Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 22, 2016, 06:44:49 AM
Our Cato also highly recommended this set:



Karlo (North Star) and I both enjoy this set, too:

Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: North Star on January 22, 2016, 06:50:40 AM
Karlo (North Star) and I both enjoy this set, too:


Yes! I don't know how I managed to forget it. Too much time spent with that delicious Decca Complete Rachmaninov box lately, I suppose...
But anyway, the Collard/Plasson is a a good set, and has a larger range of Rakhmaninov than the others - concertos, solo piano music, and the sonata for piano & cello.
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: Marsch MacFiercesome on January 22, 2016, 06:54:56 AM
I'm an 'individual performance' as opposed to a 'box-set' person, myself.

And, as passion and firepower are my standards for Rachmaninov, these are my Best In Shows:

- Zimerman/Ozawa for One

- Ashkenazy/Previn for Two

- Argerich/Chailly for Three

- Ashkenazy/Previn (for the build-up and climax in the first movement- which is tremendous) and the Ashkenazy/Haitink (for the utterly heroic last movement and the great playing of the Concertgebouw)
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: Todd on January 22, 2016, 08:57:23 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51RoXtJLyDL._SY425_.jpg)



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.
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: Turner on January 22, 2016, 09:07:21 AM
Another vote for Argerich/Chailly in no.3. Should you find the coupling with Kondrashin in Tchaikovsky´s 1st Concerto, it´s probably the best modern version of that concerto too, IMO.
 
Ashkenazy/Previn is great in Concerto no.3 as well, but very unusual regarding its extremely broad tempi, most apparent in the big solo cadenza of the 1st movement.

Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: Pat B on January 22, 2016, 09:30:40 AM
I'm listening to the Bronfman-Salonen 2 on spotify right now. So far it sounds pretty good to me.

If you do get a set, look for one that contains the Paganini Rhapsody. The 2-CD Ashkenazy set you mentioned does not, but these do:


Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: George on January 22, 2016, 10:24:17 AM
I have perused through the extensive threads on the Rachmaninov Concerto Review project.  Thanks for all that hard work.

You're welcome!

Quote


This is one of those rare cases where the best performance (for the set), is also in wonderful sound AND is priced cheaply. I think Brilliant Classics put this set out too. Look no further for a superb set of the Concertos (and an awesome Paganini.)
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: betterthanfine on January 22, 2016, 01:15:35 PM
Another set of the four concertos to consider is Andsnes, though.



THis is what first came to mind when I read the thread title. Also, do get the Argerich Third that has been mentioned a few times now.
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: Spineur on January 22, 2016, 01:40:21 PM
Nikolai Lugansky.  This is a 2006 recording (fairly recent), with a great an delicate reading of Rachmaninov scores.
For many years I lived with Ashkanasy-Previn recordings, but I dumped it, mostly because of the sound of the orchestra.  Too syrupy and not well defined to my ears.
 
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 23, 2016, 01:34:33 PM
This is one of those rare cases where the best performance (for the set), is also in wonderful sound AND is priced cheaply. I think Brilliant Classics put this set out too. Look no further for a superb set of the Concertos (and an awesome Paganini.)

Cheers, George! This does look too good not to fetch in . . . .
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: George on January 23, 2016, 01:36:20 PM
Cheers, George! This does look too good not to fetch in . . . .

 8)
Title: Thanks to all for your thoughts
Post by: JLR on January 26, 2016, 05:22:39 AM
I have decided to go with the Rudy/Jansons.  I appreciate the collective wisdom.

By the way, when I said i expected there was something better out there than the  Bronfman/Salonen, it wasn't because I found something lacking in that recording.  To the contrary, I enjoy that recording greatly--it lead me to want another.  It was simply that the I picked the CD up in a used bookstpore for $5 on a lark.  Under those circumstances, it would odd if I just happened to get one of the best recordings. 
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: aukhawk on January 26, 2016, 05:41:37 AM
I'm an 'individual performance' as opposed to a 'box-set' person, myself.

Me too.  And for No.2 I've never felt a need to look past Richter.



And for No.3 I like Janis and that amazing Mercury sound.
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: George on January 26, 2016, 06:09:37 AM
Me too.  And for No.2 I've never felt a need to look past Richter.



And for No.3 I like Janis and that amazing Mercury sound.

I agree with both! Janis and Richter are each great in No. 1 as well. 
Title: Re: Thanks to all for your thoughts
Post by: George on January 26, 2016, 06:10:09 AM
I have decided to go with the Rudy/Jansons.  I appreciate the collective wisdom.

Let us know how it works out!
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: Que on January 26, 2016, 09:55:40 AM
Love this forum, everyone made a different recommendation....  :D

Q
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 26, 2016, 10:01:44 AM
Love this forum, everyone made a different recommendation....  :D

Q

And you were expecting . . . ?  0:)
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: Que on January 26, 2016, 10:12:09 AM
And you were expecting . . . ?  0:)

It was exactly as I expected. :laugh:

Q
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 26, 2016, 10:25:14 AM
It was exactly as I expected. :laugh:

Q

Very good.
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: jlaurson on January 28, 2016, 11:56:37 AM
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.




(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0002VYF4Y.L.jpg)
S. Rachmaninoff, The Piano Concertos
S.Hough / A.Litton / Dallas SO
Hyperion (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0002VYF4Y/goodmusicguide-20)
German link (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0002VYF4Y/goodmusicguide-21) - UK link (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0002VYF4Y/goodmusicguideuk-21)


Other favorites are the standards: Argerich 3rd (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000041DF/goodmusicguide-20), Michelangeli 4th (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004R95P/goodmusicguide-20)... Zimerman 1 & 2 (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000V8CIQ/goodmusicguide-20)
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: North Star on January 28, 2016, 12:08:09 PM
I recall liking what I've heard of the Hough set very well, too.

Now, are there still sets nobody has recommended?  :D
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 28, 2016, 12:11:36 PM
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!  ???
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: OrchestralNut on January 28, 2016, 12:13:43 PM
Richard Clayderman?
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: Jo498 on January 28, 2016, 12:17:41 PM
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).
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: George on January 28, 2016, 12:47:14 PM
Despite the Gramophone recommendation, I find this excellent.

This made me laugh. Thanks!  :)
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on January 28, 2016, 01:35:16 PM
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).








(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/02/ciu/08/aa/5089f96642a00f1896e36110.L.jpg)
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: Drasko on January 28, 2016, 02:06:27 PM
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.   
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: Brian on January 28, 2016, 02:17:27 PM
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.
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: Jo498 on January 28, 2016, 11:48:18 PM
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.
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 29, 2016, 12:01:40 AM
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.
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: Wanderer on January 29, 2016, 12:44:21 AM
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.
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: amw on January 29, 2016, 12:44:34 AM
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.
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: Jo498 on January 29, 2016, 01:27:46 AM
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.
Title: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng 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.)
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: amw on January 29, 2016, 03:49:03 AM
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.)
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: George on January 10, 2020, 06:45:18 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51RoXtJLyDL._SY125_.jpg)

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)
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: Roasted Swan on January 10, 2020, 02:26:39 PM
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....

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/614KyFDCbgL._AC_UY218_ML3_.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: vandermolen on January 10, 2020, 03:09:03 PM
You mustn't miss these two recordings:

(http://)

For a complete set I've always liked the Earl Wild/Horenstein recordings.
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: Irons on January 12, 2020, 03:44:43 AM
You mustn't miss these two recordings:

(http://)

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

Ashkenazy recorded Rach 3 three times for Decca. The first with Fistoulari (1963) is electric and in my view the best.

Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: vandermolen on January 14, 2020, 06:52:32 AM
Ashkenazy recorded Rach 3 three times for Decca. The first with Fistoulari (1963) is electric and in my view the best.
Yes, that's the one I meant.
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 14, 2020, 07:33:48 AM
But the first recording of the 2nd I heard and listened to repeatedly was the Richter/Karajan.

Wislocki is the conductor on the Richter Rach Second. Karajan conducts the Tchaikovsky.

Sarge
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: vers la flamme on January 20, 2020, 07:38:43 AM
As much as I love the Rachmaninov piano concerto recordings I already have (Rachmaninoff/Ormandy/Philadelphia, Richter/Wislocki/Warsaw, Cliburn/Reiner/Chicago, Horowitz/Reiner/RCA, and more)... now I want more  ;D

I am thinking of going with Ashkenazy as a complete set on account of his consistency and deep understanding of the composer’s idiom. The problem is that he has recorded the cycle multiple times. What is generally considered better, the Previn/London set or the Haitink/Concertgebouw? I’ve only heard bits of the latter but enjoyed it a lot. I also want the earlier disc he did with concertos 2 and 3, with Fistoulari. Love what I heard of this one.

Other recordings I’m interested in include:

Bronfman/Salonen/Philharmonia (this recording of concertos 2 and 3 was plagiarized by Joyce Hatto, and her “performance” received rapturous reviews before the scandal broke, so now I want to hear the original)

Idil Biret/Wit/Polish NRSO (for love of the pianist, conductor, orchestra, and label)

Nikolai Lugansky/Oramo/CBSO (love what I’ve heard of Mr. Lugansky’s Rachmaninov)

Daniil Trifonov/Yannick Nezet Seguin/Philadelphia (the “next big thing” of piano virtuosi/Rach interpreters...? Plus, the Philadelphia was the composer’s favorite orchestra...)

Byron Janis/Dorati/London (for love of Mercury Living Presence)

That about covers it for now... any opinions on these or other great Rachmaninov recordings?
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: Jo498 on January 20, 2020, 09:25:42 AM
I am not the greatest fan of these works (my favorite is the Paganini variations) but the Ashkenazy/Haitink was recommended to me and it seems quite good in very good (early digital) sound.
I also have the Janis/Dorati 2+3. This is more lively and the "raw" sound of Mercury might not be for everyone but it also helps with avoiding sentimentality. Then I have 1+4+Paganini with Berezovsky and the Ural? orchestra because this was supposed to be the "most Russian" of more recent recordings. No idea, if this is the case. I liked these as well but overall I am not invested sufficiently in the music to bother getting their 2+3.
Another good one (I have #2+Paganini) that is fleet and not wallowing (maybe not enough for some) is Koscis. This is also a cheap twofer now, I think.
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: bluto32 on January 22, 2020, 02:59:39 PM
I am thinking of going with Ashkenazy as a complete set on account of his consistency and deep understanding of the composer’s idiom. The problem is that he has recorded the cycle multiple times. What is generally considered better, the Previn/London set or the Haitink/Concertgebouw? I’ve only heard bits of the latter but enjoyed it a lot. I also want the earlier disc he did with concertos 2 and 3, with Fistoulari. Love what I heard of this one.

I have all these Ashkenazy discs. (I heard him play some Rachmaninov live 20 years ago and was blown away.)

The old 2&3 set recorded in the early 60s with Kondrashin/Fistoulari is marvellous albeit in typical 60s analogue sound with more hiss than the 70s Previn set. It also appears to be OOP along with other “Decca Legends” CDs.

Of the full cycles:
#1: Similar in both sets, but absolutely electrifying opening bars in the Haitink from both piano and orchestra. Hair-raisingly good!

#2 and #4: Not much to choose between the two. I prefer the digital sound of the Haitink.

#3: The Previn is a considerably slower recording, particularly in the first movement. I prefer the orchestral playing in the Haitink (Concertgebouw) but find Ashkenazy’s interpretation more memorable with the Previn.

Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: Wanderer on January 23, 2020, 07:36:32 AM
Quite surprised no-one mentioned the remarkable Earl Wild set...

I did mention it.
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: George on January 23, 2020, 08:13:54 AM
I did mention it.

And I will happily second it. I have it on three separate Chesky CDs.
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: vers la flamme on January 24, 2020, 06:01:21 AM
I have all these Ashkenazy discs. (I heard him play some Rachmaninov live 20 years ago and was blown away.)

The old 2&3 set recorded in the early 60s with Kondrashin/Fistoulari is marvellous albeit in typical 60s analogue sound with more hiss than the 70s Previn set. It also appears to be OOP along with other “Decca Legends” CDs.

Of the full cycles:
#1: Similar in both sets, but absolutely electrifying opening bars in the Haitink from both piano and orchestra. Hair-raisingly good!

#2 and #4: Not much to choose between the two. I prefer the digital sound of the Haitink.

#3: The Previn is a considerably slower recording, particularly in the first movement. I prefer the orchestral playing in the Haitink (Concertgebouw) but find Ashkenazy’s interpretation more memorable with the Previn.

Thanks. I ended up getting a couple of Ashkenazy CDs: the Haitink/RCO with Concerto 1 and the Paganini Rhapsody, which is excellent, and the four concertos with Previn/LSO, which I’ve not heard yet aside from bits and pieces. I love how Ashkenazy plays the beginning of the Concerto 2, different from any other I’ve heard.
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: bluto32 on January 25, 2020, 12:09:02 PM
Yes, he has a distinctive style when opening concerto #2. I think I read somewhere that his hands are not quite big enough for the huge chords at the start, which is why he "rolls" into them. Whatever the reason, I've always liked it.
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: vers la flamme on January 26, 2020, 06:22:27 AM
Yes, he has a distinctive style when opening concerto #2. I think I read somewhere that his hands are note quite big enough for the huge chords at the start, which is why he "rolls" into them. Whatever the reason, I've always liked it.

I've heard it said that if a pianist has small hands, he or she must have absolutely impeccable pedaling technique to pull off any Rachmaninov. The music of course was written with the composer's massive span in mind. Frankly I'm surprised that so many pianists out there have even tried recording the concertos of Rachmaninov. I haven't heard the vast majority of them, but I question how many are successful.
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: Mirror Image on January 26, 2020, 07:22:04 AM
I've heard it said that if a pianist has small hands, he or she must have absolutely impeccable pedaling technique to pull off any Rachmaninov. The music of course was written with the composer's massive span in mind. Frankly I'm surprised that so many pianists out there have even tried recording the concertos of Rachmaninov. I haven't heard the vast majority of them, but I question how many are successful.

Where there’s a will, there's a way.

Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: Marc on January 26, 2020, 08:36:52 AM
Where there’s a will, there's a way.

True that.
Even Harpo Marx managed to deliver an intense Rachmaninov.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaZZRfx89W0

https://www.youtube.com/v/QaZZRfx89W0
Title: Re: Looking for a recommendation for a set of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos
Post by: Roasted Swan on January 30, 2020, 09:01:33 AM
I did mention it.

Oops - sorry!