Rustem Hayroudinoff follows up his 2003 recording of Rachmaninov's complete preludes with this 2008 release of the same composer's complete Études-Tableaux. As before, Hayroudinoff proves himself a brilliant technician and an astute interpreter. His playing is flashy, certainly, but since the composer is Rachmaninov, flashy comes with the territory. But his playing is also clear and direct: one can hear all the composer's inner voices articulated with impeccable lucidity. This lucidity extends to Hayroudinoff's interpretations, which bring out the Tableaux as much as the etude on the music: one can also hear all the composer's allusions to funeral marches, stormy seas, and pealing bells. Though not lacking in passion (check out the crashing opening of the C sharp minor Études Tableaux from Opus 33 or to the brazen climaxes of the C minor Études Tableaux from Opus 39), Hayroudinoff's performances are more analytical than expressionistic, and those who favor the recordings of Ashkenazy and Richter may not find themselves wholly convinced. But for listeners who want to hear everything, Hayroudinoff's disc cannot be bettered. Chandos' digital sound is close and crisp.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Etudes-Tableaux, for piano, Op. 33|
|Etudes-Tableaux, for piano, Op. 39|