- Rachmaniana, for piano
While Sergey Rachmaninov is justly celebrated for his piano concertos and symphonies, his sets of variations shouldn't be overlooked, for they are among his most inventive and satisfying works. Russian pianist Danil Trifonov plays the "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini," the "Variations on a Theme of Chopin," and the "Variations on a Theme of Corelli" on this 2015 Deutsche Grammophon release, and he offers his own special tribute to the composer in his solo piano suite, "Rachmaniana." For the "Rhapsody," Trifonov is joined by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra, an ensemble that counts historic performances with Rachmaninov as part of its heritage, and plays with its characteristic lush sound and passionate expression. Trifonov is brilliant and precise in the "Rhapsody," collaborating fully with the orchestra and sharing the spotlight as much as possible in such a showpiece. Yet in the solo variations, he is able to stretch out and demonstrate his gift for deeply expressive playing, as well as a talent for fantasy in his own composition. The reproduction throughout this CD is transparent and finely detailed, though the "Rhapsody" offers the most vibrant and spacious sound.