Sergey Vassilievich Rachmaninov


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Phoenix Story

Phoenix Story


Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 65

Pei-Jee Ng (cello) & David Tong (piano)


Phoenix Story, for two cellos

world premiere

Pei-Jee Ng & Pei-Sian Ng


Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19

Pei-Sian Ng (cello) & David Tong (piano)

• A recital featuring some of Australia’s finest young musicians all in their early 20s, including the stunning twin cellists Pei-Jee Ng and Pei-Sian Ng who are beginning to make names for themselves internationally

• Pianist David Tong’s second album for Melba following his spectacular debut CD (of Rachmaninov, Chopin and Liszt – MR301086) in 2005

• Beautiful Romantic repertoire – the Sonatas for cello and piano by Chopin and Rachmaninov – plus the world premiere recording of noted Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin’s Phoenix Story for two cellos

• Recorded direct to disc using DSD (direct stream digital) technology – the same technology behind the SACD and one that ensures absolute maximum performance from a CD

• Striking artwork from the renowned Ken Cato

• Digipak with picture disc and 26-page colour booklet with essays and translations

“All three artists show impressive technical accomplishment… As to the interpretations: all three players have the right instincts - projecting the intense lyricism of the Chopin and responding to the more dramatic contrasts of Rachmaninov's idiom.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2009

Melba Recordings - MR301113



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Great Norwegian Performers 1945-2000, Volume 2

Great Norwegian Performers 1945-2000, Volume 2


Impromptu No. 1 in A flat major, Op. 29

Nocturne No. 5 in F sharp major, Op. 15 No. 2

Mazurka No. 15 in C major, Op. 24 No. 2


Ballade in G minor, Op. 24

Lyric Pieces Op. 43: No. 6 - To Spring


Spring Song, Op. 28, No. 5


Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43

Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Mariss Jansons

Scarlatti, D:

Keyboard Sonata K33 in D Major

Keyboard Sonata K13 in G major


Frühlingsrauschen (Rustle of Spring), Op. 32 No 3

One of the most notable musicians in post-war Norway, Eva Knardahl was a vibrant and spirited figure in the musical life of the nation, performing, participating in public debate, and involving herself in various boards and committees. She was justly referred to as a breath of fresh air, both with regard to the richness of her musical expressivity, and to the manner in which she ardently defended her views.

Eva Knardahl gave her official debut recital at the age of eleven and immediately came to the attention of the Norwegian public. At her debut concert she performed no less than three piano concertos, and it was soon clear that hers was a unique gift. Following studies with, amongst others, Mary Barratt Due, in 1947 at the age of 27 she moved to the USA. In 1952 she took up the post of pianist with the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra, and soon became recognised as the foremost artist on the instrument in that area of the United States. In 1965 she was encouraged to return to her native Norway by the conductor Karsten Andersen, and the next period of her life can be divided into two sections, the first being from 1965 to 1984 when she performed as a soloist, and the second from 1984 to1994 when she held the post of professor of chamber music at the Norwegian Academy of Music. Although her repertoire as a pianist included the concertos of Brahms, Beethoven and Mozart, as a result of her time in the States, the modern American piano tradition was very much in her veins, and she was a great champion of works like Leonard Bernstein’s 2nd Symphony, “The Age of Anxiety”. Her recordings of the complete works solo piano by Grieg for BIS in the 70’s are still considered to be amongst the best.

Simax Great Norwegian Performers - PSC1831



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Bridges To Beyond (Piano Music)

Bridges To Beyond (Piano Music)



Images oubliées: Lent

La plus que lente


Improvisation in C sharp minor, Op. 84 No. 5


Goyescas: Quejas ó La Maja y el Ruiseñor


Prelude No. 9

Prelude No. 6 (left hand)

Variations sur un theme de Chopin (No. 8)


Impresiones intimas


Nocturne No. 8

15 Improvisations, No. 13 in A minor

15 Improvisations, No. 7 in C major


Vocalise, Op. 34 No. 14


Petite Ouverture à danser

Pièces froides: Danses de travers (3)


Prelude, Op. 11 No. 16 in B flat minor

Prelude, Op. 11 No. 12 in G sharp minor

Prelude, Op. 11 No. 11 in B major

Prelude, Op. 22 No. 3 in B minor

Poème in F sharp major, Op. 32 No. 1


Prelude, Op. 1 No. 1 in B minor

Andante ma non troppo

Prelude, Op. 1 No. 7 in C minor



Profiles, Op. 68, No. 3

Antoinette van Zabner (piano)

The largely reflective works on this CD illustrate the changing attitudes in the works of composers around the period of the early 1900’s. A politically very sensitive and volatile time, music began to represent a more thoughtful and inward style of composition. This programme, compiled by Antoinette van Zabner, is both thought provoking and stimulating.

Gramola - GRAM98829



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Jussi Björling - In Song

Jussi Björling - In Song




Je crois entendre encore (from Les Pêcheurs de Perles)


Die Mainacht, Op. 43 No. 2

Curtis, E:

Torna a Surriento


For You Alone


En svane (No. 2 from Seks Digte af Henrik Ibsen, Op. 25)

Seks Sange, Op. 48 No. 6 'Ein Traum'


Das Veilchen vom Montmartre


Vita rosor


Mattinata - 'L'aurora di bianco vestita'


Es muss ein Wunderbares sein, S. 314


Lilacs, Op. 21 No. 5


Die Forelle, D550

Die Allmacht, D852

Ständchen 'Leise flehen meine Lieder', D957 No. 4

Wandrers Nachtlied II 'Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh', D768

Die böse Farbe (No. 17 from Die schöne Müllerin, D795)


Svarta rosor, Op. 36 No. 1 (Ernst Josephson)


I drömmen du är mig nära

Strauss, R:

Ständchen, Op. 17 No. 2

Morgen, Op. 27 No. 4




Ack Värmeland du sköna (Ah Värmland, Thou Fairest)

arr. Randel

Allt Under Himmelens Fäste

Wolf, H:

Verborgenheit (No. 12 from Mörike-Lieder)

Historic Masters Ltd. Is delighted to be associated with, and to have contributed to, this CD release of little known material by one of the truly great tenors of the twentieth century. In the course of our researches we have discovered original metal parts for three recordings by Jussi Björling which were not released by EMI at the time they were made. All three have now been issued as part of our Historic Masters series and we are delighted to be able to make copies available for transfer to this CD. The tenor solo from Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de perles was recorded in April 1947. Given that it is Björling’s only studio version of this aria, it seems surprising that it remained unissued until November 1977, late in the LP era. Only then was it included in an EMI boxed set entitled The Art of Jussi Björling. The other two items, the songs Mattinata and For you alone, rank amongst our most sensational discoveries in the EMI archive. These were the very first recordings made by Björling as an adult on 4 September 1929. Piano accompanied, they were almost certainly intended as tests to determine Björling’s suitability for a recording contract. Listening to these first recordings, there can be no surprise that Björling clearly passed this examination with flying colours. Three months later he was in the studio for what was in effect the launching of his hugely successful recording career with HMV and Victor. In the first few months of that career Björling repeated both songs – this time with full orchestral accompaniment. Perhaps this explains why the original tests were forgotten and, indeed, were marked in March 1930 as ‘destroyed’. In 1952, RCA, using the recently developed tape technology, decided to record a selection of the songs that Björling performed at his recitals. It is unlikely that all of these pieces would have been given at one time, but they were certainly included in his programmes over the years and give a very representative selection of the range of his repertoire. Apart from German Lieder, he always liked to sing some Swedish pieces, as well as works by the Finnish composer Sibelius, who complimented him on his interpretations of his songs, particularly those written to Swedish words. This recording from 1952 remained on the catalogue for many years as an LP in the USA, but it was less widely available in Europe and can now be heard here for the first time in a CD transfer from the original master tape. It finds Björling in particularly glorious voice.

Extract from the booklet

Testament - SBT1427



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Rachmaninov - Symphony No. 2

Rachmaninov - Symphony No. 2


Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27

Vocalise, Op. 34 No. 14

Sylvia McNair (soprano)

“Free from unwarranted mannerism and over-indulgence, Zinman negotiates the ebb and flow of Rachmaninov's heartfelt melodic language with a real sense of purpose.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2008 *****

“exceptional Telarc sound … stylish, wholly natural grasp of Rachmaninov's very particular phraseology” Gramophone Magazine

Telarc - CD80312



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Rachmaninov - Suites for two pianos

Rachmaninov - Suites for two pianos


Shared Secrets, a documentary by F.R.Martin [Mirare] & C.Leconte

Bonus DVD


Suite Nos. 1 & 2 for two pianos


Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66 (excerpts)

arranged Rachmaninov

Rachmaninov's powerful piano writing is given due weight by two matchless interpreters of the Romantic repertoire, Brigitte Engerer and Boris Berezovsky.

With the Mirare Label, Boris Berezovsky has recorded the Rachmaninov Préludes as well as the complete Rachmaninov and Chopin Piano concertos. He also appears on a Medici DVD entitled Change of Plans [2055758, Beethoven & Medtner].

Brigitte Engerer is acclaimed throughout the world for her exceptional artistic maturity and sensibility, and for the strength and delicacy of her playing.

Mirare - MIR070



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Rachmaninov & Shostakovich - Cello Sonatas

Rachmaninov & Shostakovich - Cello Sonatas


Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19

Vocalise, Op. 34 No. 14


Cello Sonata in D minor, Op. 40

Robert Irvine (cello) & Graeme McNaught (piano)

An exceptional venture into the chamber repertoire: Robert Irvine, highly acclaimed protagonist of Delphian's recent disc of cello music by Giles Swayne, is now joined by pianist Graeme McNaught in two classic Russian sonatas.

“[In the] Shostakovich Robert Irvine… and his excellent pianist, Graeme McNaught, keep the textures light… It is highly intelligent playing of an emotionally complex work. Rachmaninov's textures are also kept light, even when the keyboard writing is at its most abundant. This is a performance that says more about the heart of the work than when that heart is placed on the performers' sleeves.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2008

“Rarely can [Rachmaninov's Cello Sonata] have been recorded in a performance of such potent and poetic intensity, intelligence and clarity as that which the Scottish cellist Robert Irvine and his responsive, vital pianist, Graeme McNaught, give here. Shostakovich’s Cello Sonata is equally well done: poised, subtle and controlled where it needs to be, but appositely pugnacious, brittle and pointed in the scherzo. Rachmaninov’s Vocalise, an apt vehicle for Irvine’s gloriously seductive singing tone, appealingly separates the two works.” Sunday Times, 27th July 2008 ****

Delphian - DCD34034



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Josef Hofmann - Acoustic recordings (1916-1923)

Josef Hofmann - Acoustic recordings (1916-1923)


Waltz No. 2 in A flat major 'Grande Valse Brillante', Op. 34 No. 1

Recorded 13th February, 1918

Waltz No. 7 in C sharp minor, Op. 64 No. 2

Recorded 18th April, 1923

Nocturne No. 5 in F sharp major, Op. 15 No. 2

Recorded 19th April, 1923

Impromptu No. 4 in C sharp minor, Op. 66 'Fantaisie-Impromptu'

Recorded 6th March, 1918

Berceuse in D flat major, Op. 57

Recorded 26th March, 1918

Polonaise No. 3 in A major, Op. 40 No. 1 'Military'

Recorded 10th April, 1923


Meine Freuden (Nocturne)

Chants polonais (after Chopin Op. 74). Recorded 27th April, 1923

Polish Songs S480 No. 1 "Maiden's Wish" (after Chopin)

Recorded 6th March, 1918

Waldesrauschen, S145 No. 1

Recorded 13th March, 1923

Tarantella, S. 162 No. 3 (from Venezia e Napoli)

Recorded 2nd November, 1916

Hungarian Rhapsody, S244 No. 2 in C sharp minor

Recorded in December, 1922


Song without Words, Op. 67 No. 4 in C major 'Spinning Song' or 'Bee's Wedding'

Recorded 13th October, 1916

Rondo capriccioso in E major, Op. 14

Recorded 13th February, 1918

Song without Words, Op. 19b No. 3 in A major 'Hunting Song'

Recorded 14th February, 1918


La Jongleuse, Op. 52 No. 4

Recorded 14th February, 1918

Spanish Caprice

Recorded 16th October, 1916


Minuet in G major, Op. 14 No. 1

Recorded 2nd November, 1916


Prelude Op. 23 No. 5 in G minor

Recorded 20th April, 1923

Prelude Op. 3 No. 2 in C sharp minor

Recorded 20th April, 1923


Erlkönig, D328

arr. Liszt. Recorded 13th October, 1916

Josef Hofmann was one of the greatest pianists of any age. His unique abilities incorporated a technique second to none, and a clarity and pureness of tone that has probably never been heard since his death.

Always in total command of everything he played, Hofmann presented each work with an impression of complete facility of execution.

All works recorded in New York City

“The recessed, wrong-end-of-a-telescope acoustic recordings are still truthful enough to display Hofmann's mesmerisingly fabulous virtuosity in Liszt's Waldesrauchen and Tarantella, and his full, rounded tone.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2008 *****

“Josef Hofmann is among music’s most jealously guarded legends. For his admirers (and they included Anton Rubinstein and Rachmaninov) he could do no wrong, and those fortunate enough to have heard him live during his heyday in America can reminisce by the hour, recalling unforgettable performances of a vast repertoire ranging from Beethoven’s Op. 111 Sonata to the major works of the great romantics.” Gramophone Magazine

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Naxos Historical Great Pianists - 8111326


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Rachmaninov - Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3

Rachmaninov - Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3


Piano Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 1

Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30

“Barry Douglas's performance of the First Concerto provides an arresting alternative to a more conventional approach. His brilliance has an acidulous edge that brings an unusual degree of verve and clarity to even the most thickly textured passages.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2008

“Douglas's immaculate, cool playing is wonderfully contrasted with Svetlanov's passionate urgings and the very Russian sound of the orchestra; it is sometimes hard to believe, when listening to the soupy brass and the unfathomable depth of the string tone, that these recordings are only 15 years old.” The Guardian, 4th July 2008 ****

“The sound of the piano comes across as perhaps a little pallid, but what Douglas does with the instrument more than makes up for it: his performance is full of virtuosity and sensitivity in equal measure. As for Svetlanov and his team, Douglas could not have received more experienced support in this music. The conductor follows every subtle inflection of the soloist’s rubato, while the orchestral playing brings a nostalgic reminder of a lost world.” The Telegraph, 16th August 2008

RCA - 88697279722

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Rachmaninov - Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3

Rachmaninov - Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3


Piano Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 1

Mikhail Pletnev (piano)

Libor Pešek

Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30

Cécile Ousset (piano)

Günther Herbig

“This coupling is a mismatch. Pletnev demonstrates affinity for Rachmaninov's style in the First Concerto, but Ousset's technically proficient playing of the Third seems solid and sadly deficient in spontaneity and imagination.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2009 ***

Warner Classics - Classics for Pleasure - 2282792

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