leonine aristocracy of Rachmaninov's playing, the perception that this is playing
unfettered by limitation either digital or technical, is present throughout these
discs. They reflect an aesthetic that is frequently personalised to a remarkable
degree, most especially in Mozart and Schubert, but that can be channelled with
remarkable imagination and flair when joined by a personality of equal stature
- in this case Kreisler in their sonata recordings.
The clarity of his voicings
in Bach was legendary, the absorption of the violinistic by the pianistic in the
Partita BWV 1006 a marvel of creativity and suggestibility. Yet when he moved
from elevated Bach to hyphenated Scarlatti-Tausig his capricious rhythm was equally
captivating and his Harmonious Blacksmith, another plaything for Golden Age pianists,
emerges as deliberate and clear and not at all hammered out, gathering strength
as it goes, reaching that single apex of Rachmaninovian intensity. His Mozart
(two movements from K311) is gloriously romantic, full of sly humour and utterly
indefensible - with a Rondo alla turca that defines the word emphatic as well
as any dictionary. The Gluck-Sgambati is beautifully done and without much pedal
(as is the temptation) - though it doesn't, for me, efface Egon Petri. And yet
as if to confound the issue his 1925 Beethoven-Rubinstein Turkish March does use
quite some pedal but manages effortlessly to highlights the saucy humour.
full text of the review see on www.musicweb.uk.net/classrev
as a pianist represents a uniquely outstanding phenomenon. With his great temperament
and a powerful tone he could conquer any audience. His performance, technically
impeccable, clear and clean, was notable by its sincerety while an iron rhytm
reigned over the whole performance.
value and power of Rachmaninov is in his imagination, that is in perceiving into
his soul the musical images of the original pieces of music.
Sergei Rachmaninov with his beloved dog Levko which was killed by the peasants
who revolted and ransacked his family estate Ivanovka in October 1917. Photo 1899.