VVCD - 00025
Rachmaninov plays and conducts, vol.3.
Liszt, Kreisler, Debussy, Moszkovsky, Paderewsky, Bizet, Saint-Saens, Grieg.
S.Rachmaninov, piano
F. Kreisler, violin.

ADD 63'51''

Listz. Hungarian Rhapsody No2 (Cadenza Rachmaninov). Gnomenreigen.
Kreisler - Rachmaninov. Liebesfreud. Liebeslied.
Debussy. Golliwogg's Cakewalk.
Moszkovsky. La Jongleuse.
Paderewsky. Menuet op 14.
Bizet - Rachmaninov. Menuet (from "L'Arlesienne"
Saint-Saens - Ziloti. The Swan.
Grieg. Elfin dance. Waltz op 12. Sonata for violin and piano 9part of violin played by F. Kreisler)

Total time 63.51

It's impossible to pick highlights from amongst these eight discs but let's try his Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 with Rachmaninov's own cadenza. There's some exceptional half pedal, perfectly audible in this 1919 acoustic, with swathes of colour and virtuosity, incredible glowering bass and a daredevil drama a-plenty. His Gnomenreigen grows inexorably to become all enveloping, his Kreisler transcription of Liebesfreud comes complete with thunderous rococo charm, bass extensions and an air of naughtiness and he teases Liebeslied similarly, not least the left hand line. He animates Debussy's Golliwog's Cakewalk with teasing rubati and fulsomeness and brings Scarlatti to bear on Paderewski's Minuet. His Chopin is full of freedom, metrical and, it must be said, textual. Not everyone will respond wholeheartedly to his playing, but even those who shy away from Rachmaninov's personality-rich playing will surely be captivated by something, by some detail or subtlety. The strata of tone colours and rubati of the Third Ballade, for instance. Or the lullaby-like E flat major Nocturne, with its unimpeachable trill, the tied bass notes and his control of piano. The F sharp major may have some idiosyncratic things amidst the magnificence of the decorative runs but, as so often with Rachmaninov, doubt is stilled; for all the personalisation, it makes sense. There's hardly any pedal in the Waltz in E flat major - the mechanism is under perfect clarity and control at a relatively sedate tempo (and hear the piano "laugh" so suggestively). For Rachmaninov, truly, each note has its meaning.

Jonathan Woolf

The full text of the review see on www.musicweb.uk.net/classrev

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