- Piano Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 1
- Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18
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Krystian Zimerman reports in the CD booklet that, before making this recording of Rachmaninoff's First and Second Piano Concertos, he examined the composer's manuscript of the Second Concerto for clues to aid his interpretation and found "pencil marks from Rachmaninoff showing where you should really let go and knock yourself out!" Listen to this recoding, and you'll hear just how much he took those instructions to heart. Zimerman's Rachmaninoff burns with intensity and ardor. The First Concerto, especially, is filled with propulsive force -- just listen to the tempestuous first measures, which Zimerman carries off with remarkable technical assurance. Yet his playing is never merely flashy, and there is genuine tenderness in the lyrical, malleable passages. The more familiar Second Concerto is equally vivid; the opening chords become the ominous clanging of massive bells in Zimerman's hands, and while some details are lost in the slapdash tempo of the finale, the playing crackles with life. Conductor Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony keep up with Zimerman's zeal, producing some beautifully rich sonorities along the way. One of the most gifted pianists of his generation, Zimerman has recorded relatively infrequently (this is his first disc since his 1999 set of Ravel concertos). All the more reason to savor this extraordinary release.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If you enjoy Rachmaninov, you will be pleased with this performance. It is all here, the power, emotion and passion of Rachmaninov's music, brilliantly performed.