Garrick Ohlsson

Rachmaninov: Corelli Variations; Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition; Prokofiev: Sonata No. 2

  • AllMusic Rating
    7
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Listeners who already know Garrick Ohlsson's recordings of Chopin and Beethoven will not need to be persuaded to try this 2010 disc of the Bronxville-born pianist's recordings of works by Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, and Mussorgsky. They will already know exactly what to expect: eye-popping virtuosity, jaw-dropping velocity, and an approach to interpretation that might be fairly characterized as mind-blowing. Rachmaninov's edgy and angular Variations on a Theme of Corelli is sharp-cornered and hard-driven, Prokofiev's brutal and boisterous Second Sonata is extremely vigorous and exceedingly muscular, and Mussorgsky's moody and magnificent Pictures at an Exhibition is given the wide-screen, full-color treatment in a performance that seems somehow to get bigger as it proceeds. For some, Ohlsson's bone-crushing account of Prokofiev's opening Allegro and piano-busting reading of Mussorgsky's closing "Great Gates of Kiev" may seem too little about the music and too much about the pianist's physical strength. For others, Ohlsson's performances will either seduce or bludgeon them into submission.

The Rachmaninov and Prokofiev recordings were made under studio conditions in Purchase, NY, in 2008, and the Mussorgsky was recorded live at the 1974 Prague Spring Festival. The former have clear, crisp sound, with no extraneous noise, while the latter has close, tight sound, with the occasional audience noise, including rapturous applause at the end.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Op. 42
1 01:11 Amazon
2 00:51 Amazon
3 00:42 Amazon
4 00:42 Amazon
5 01:05 Amazon
6 00:24 Amazon
7 00:23 Amazon
8 00:26 Amazon
9 01:11 Amazon
10 01:16 Amazon
11 00:36 Amazon
12 00:23 Amazon
13 00:42 Amazon
14 00:32 Amazon
15 01:10 Amazon
16 01:09 Amazon
17 01:50 Amazon
18 00:32 Amazon
19 01:06 Amazon
20 00:35 Amazon
21 00:28 Amazon
22 02:31 Amazon
Piano Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op. 14
23 06:39 Amazon
24 02:18 Amazon
25 05:53 Amazon
26 05:25 Amazon
Pictures at an Exhibition
27 01:15 Amazon
28 02:25 Amazon
29 00:41 Amazon
30 03:50 Amazon
31 00:26 Amazon
32 00:56 Amazon
33 02:25 Amazon
34 00:38 Amazon
35 01:00 Amazon
36 02:14 Amazon
37 01:15 Amazon
38 01:21 Amazon
39 01:28 Amazon
40 01:35 Amazon
41 02:56 Amazon
42 04:36 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick