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Posted October 1, 2010
To hear Rachmaninoff play his own works, as he meant them to be played, is invaluable. The audio quality is a bit scratchy (the recordings were made in 1929, 1939, and 1940), but the energy and superb musicianship of Rachmaninoff and the Philadelphia Orchestra clearly comes through. I grew up listening to Gary Graffman's 1965 recording of the Second Concerto, which is wonderful, but much slower paced than Rachmaninoff's. The Third Concerto starts out soft and lyrical, then builds to a fury--too bad there's no video to go with this! If you've ever played Rachmaninoff, you know what a finger-braiding fusillade of notes is--I'd love to be able to see Rachmaninoff's actual pyrotechnics. Naxos also has the First and Fourth Concertos (and the Paganini Rhapsody) performed by Rach and the PO on another disk. They make a nice set (I'm listening to them now.)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.