Agustín Anievas

Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 1-4; Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini; Preludes

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

We've all heard countless recordings of the middle two Rachmaninoff concertos (No. 2 & No. 3), plenty of interpretations of the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, and maybe even one or two versions of the outer, less popular concertos. So what makes this EMI reissue different than any of those? The answer is some good things and some not-so-good things. The positive aspect is the refreshingly clean and straightforward playing offered up by pianist Agustin Anievas. While listeners may be accustomed to heavily romanticized, swooning, over-pedaled performances of these concertos, Anievas delivers only what's in the score. So while it may not be as lush or sentimental as some interpretations, it's a nice change of pace to actually be able to hear all of the notes in the inner voices and let the music speak for itself. The downside to these recordings is the sound quality of the New Philharmonia Orchestra, which is disturbingly treble heavy -- an aesthetic that simply does not work well for Rachmaninoff. If Anievas' playing is clean, the orchestra takes it one step too far into the realm of sterility. The third disc in the set contains the Op. 23 and Op. 32 Preludes, as well as very famous Op. 2/1 C sharp minor Prelude. These works are again performed with a great deal of clarity and lucidity. Overall, this collection is certainly worthwhile to hear Anievas' playing, but not as recommended if you like to enjoy the orchestra part along with the soloist's.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Piano Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 1
1
12:45
2
6:05
3
8:03
Piano Concerto No. 4 in G minor, Op. 40
4
9:48
5
5:54
6
9:21
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (Introduction and 24 Variations), for piano & orchestra in A minor, Op. 43
7
0:29
8
0:38
9
0:24
10
0:29
11
0:28
12
1:13
13
0:57
14
0:32
15
0:30
16
0:51
17
1:19
18
1:10
19
0:27
20
0:41
21
1:07
22
1:29
23
1:35
24
2:37
25
0:26
26
0:34
27
0:24
28
1:43
29
0:51
30
1:07
blue highlight denotes track pick