Rachmaninov’s formidable piano technique was notable for its precision, rhythmic drive, refined legato, crystalline clarity and sensitivity to melodic line. While avoiding sentimentality, he sought and expressed music’s emotional essence.
Though fleet fingered, he had, in Arthur Rubinstein’s words, “the secret of the golden, living tone which comes from the heart”, awing listeners with the aristocratic quality of his playing.
This is particularly evident in his interpretations of Chopin, Schumann and Liszt, whose great Romantic spirit matched his own. Even today, his recordings remain classics.
Fryderyk Chopin: Ballade No. 3 in A flat major, Op. 47
Ballade No. 3 in A flat major, Op. 47
Fryderyk Chopin: Nocturne No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 9, No. 2
Nocturne No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 9, No. 2
Fryderyk Chopin: Waltz No. 7 in C sharp minor, Op. 64, No. 2
Waltz No. 7 in C sharp minor, Op. 64, No. 2
Fryderyk Chopin: Waltz No. 8 in A flat major, Op. 64, No. 3
Waltz No. 8 in A flat major, Op. 64, No. 3
Fryderyk Chopin: Waltz No. 14 in E minor, Op. posth.
Waltz No. 14 in E minor, Op. posth.
Fryderyk Chopin: Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35, "Funeral March"
I. Grave - Doppio movimento
III. Marche funebre: Lento
IV. Finale: Presto
Robert Schumann: Carnaval, Op. 9
No. 1. Preambule
No. 2. Pierrot
No. 3. Arlequin
No. 4. Valse noble
No. 5. Eusebius
No. 6. Florestan
No. 7. Coquette
No. 8. Replique
No. 9. Papillons
No. 10. ASCH - SCHA (Lettres dansantes)
No. 11. Chiarina
No. 12. Chopin
No. 13. Estrella
No. 14. Reconnaissance
No. 15. Pantalon et Colombine
No. 16. Valse allemande
No. 17. Intermezzo: Paganini
No. 18. Aveu
No. 19. Promenade
No. 20. Pause
No. 21. Marche des Davidsbundler contre les Philistins
Robert Schumann: Spanisches Liederspiel, Op. 74: No. 10. Der Kontrabandiste (arr. C. Tausig)
Spanisches Liederspiel, Op. 74: No. 10. Der Kontrabandiste (arr. C. Tausig)
Franz Liszt: Chopin - 6 Chants polonais, S480/R145
No. 6. Die Heimkehr (Narzeczony, Homeward)
No. 1. Madchens Wunsch (Zyczenie, The Maiden's Wish)
“Exceptional transfers of justly famous performances Rachmaninov brings this music vividly to life with a unique blend of rubato, unsentimentality, solidity of line and virtuosity.”
“Here is a reminder and a remembrance of a matchless idiosyncrasy and mastery… Try this great pianist in Chopin's E flat Nocturne, Op 9 No 2, played in the style of the greatest Russian singers, with a melting cantabile and with a freedom and rubato that can make even the ever-elfin Cherkassky sound sober by comparison.”
26th April 2009
“His 1929 recording of Carnaval is wonderfully incisive. By subtle, barely perceptible touches of rubato, he makes each figure in Schumann’s gallery of characters so vivid, you can see them.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.