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