Andrei Gavrilov / Riccardo Muti

Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto Nos. 2 & 3; Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

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Crammed with many of Rachmaninov's most popular works, this 2004 compilation from EMI Classics is a fine starter set, superior to most greatest-hits packages. Complete performances of the Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, the Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, and the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini are always preferable to excerpts, and this album presents the works in their entirety. Additionally, the inclusion of 12 solo piano works is generous, and the absence of the notorious Prelude in C sharp minor may be excused, for these pieces are more sophisticated and satisfying. However well this set may serve beginners, aficionados of the concertos may quibble over the performances and compare them with a wide assortment of performances by the greatest pianists. It may be unfair to judge Andrei Gavrilov against legendary performers, but his playing is dynamic, virtuosic, fully accomplished, and quite impressive, if not as daringly fast as Argerich's, as intense as Richter's or as stirring as Rachmaninov's. Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra provide a rich orchestral backing, though they may be faulted for some murkiness in the strings, a heresy among fans of the old Philadelphia sound. These mid-'80s recordings have decent digital sound, though it is not always clear and resonant.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30
1 18:37 Amazon
2 12:37 Amazon
3 14:29 Amazon
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (Introduction and 24 Variations), for piano & orchestra in A minor, Op. 43
4 00:43 Amazon
5 00:18 Amazon
6 00:24 Amazon
7 00:29 Amazon
8 00:27 Amazon
9 00:56 Amazon
10 01:00 Amazon
11 00:31 Amazon
12 00:30 Amazon
13 00:51 Amazon
14 01:31 Amazon
15 01:10 Amazon
16 00:28 Amazon
17 00:45 Amazon
18 01:08 Amazon
19 01:31 Amazon
20 01:33 Amazon
21 02:52 Amazon
22 00:26 Amazon
23 00:33 Amazon
24 00:23 Amazon
25 01:40 Amazon
26 00:47 Amazon
27 01:17 Amazon
Etudes-Tableaux, for piano, Op. 39
28 02:18 Amazon
29 05:04 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18
1 10:54 Amazon
2 13:49 Amazon
3 11:31 Amazon
4 02:54 Amazon
5 04:43 Amazon
6 03:45 Amazon
7 03:11 Amazon
8 02:12 Amazon
Morceaux de fantaisie (5), for piano, Op. 3
9 05:37 Amazon
Moments Musicaux (6) for piano, Op. 16
10 08:56 Amazon
11 02:29 Amazon
12 05:14 Amazon
13 03:54 Amazon
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