Stewart Goodyear / Heiko Mathias Förster / Czech National Symphony Orchestra

Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos 2 & 3

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Like his first recording for Steinway & Sons of popular piano concertos by Tchaikovsky and Grieg, Stewart Goodyear's second release for the label covers well-trodden ground in the Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor and the Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor of Sergey Rachmaninov. Steinway & Sons' mission is to showcase Steinway pianos in performances by rising pianists from its Concert & Artist program, though judging by the familiarity of these warhorses, it seems to be locked into the standard post-Romantic repertoire, which hasn't changed much over the past century. Even so, Goodyear is an exceptional artist, and his performances with Heiko Mathias Förster and the Czech National Symphony are worth hearing for their clarity and the balance of technical skill and expressive subtlety. Perhaps the most significant point to make about this disc is Goodyear's restoration of the full score of the Third Concerto, which was cut by Rachmaninov in an attempt to popularize it. Beyond that, there are no surprises, just reliable performances that offer equal portions of virtuosity and emotion. Rendered with taste and intelligence by Goodyear.

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