I have absolutely fallen in love with......

Here you can post anything regarding Rachmaninoff's music on record/cd/dvd and concert experiences
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I have absolutely fallen in love with......

Postby Jessica » Sat Apr 22, 2006 4:40 am

The first Sonata in D minor. OH MY GOD :shock: ....what a genius. I have been listening to it over and over again for about 3 hours.

I have to learn this one. Probably take me 3 years...LOL

"He who does not love music is not yet human; he who loves it only is only half human; but he who loves and practices it - he is fully human."


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Postby Amphissa » Mon Apr 24, 2006 7:35 am

This is also one of my favorites of his compositions. It is so densely written that it takes a real vision of the piece as a whole and great insight into the piece to unravel the tangle and illuminate the fine thread through the piece.

It is unfortunate that we have no recording by Rachmaninoff himself to guide us. What we do know is that Rachmaninoff referred to the piece as "wild and interminable." It was not so interminable after all the cuts he made in revisions. I am eagerly awaiting publication of the original score, which should come out in a few months.

As you probably know, this sonata is a series of three portraits of characters from Goethe’s “Faust” as archetypes of human nature. The first movement, Allegro moderato, depicts Faust; the second, Lento, portrays Marguerite; and the third, Allegro molto, is Mephistopheles.

Unlike most of Rachmaninoff's compositions, it has only been recorded about 20 times. I've been gathering up as many as I can find to give them a listen. Of the recordings I've heard so far, I'm not impressed with most.

The best recording I've heard thus far is by Russian pianist and Van Cliburn silver medalist Yakov Kasman. This is from a live recording in 1997. He later did a studio recording, which I thought not so powerful. He creates a sense of coherent wholeness to the work that none of the others have achieved. Kasman does not back off from the spirit of the piece – dark and powerful - and the excitement of the live performance pervades the recording. The outer movements are intense and abandoned, as they should be. But his depiction of Marguerite is tender and beautifully phrased. I've written to Yakov, who now lives in the U.S., asking him to record the uncut version when it is published. He records on the Calliope label.
"Life without music is a mistake." Nietzsche

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Postby CoolJL » Sun Jan 28, 2007 3:29 am

I'm curious as to which recording are you listening to?

Wonderful music, absolutely mesmerising. It's a real shame no one really plays the piece in concerts. Love to hear a live performance.

My favourite so far is by Santiago Rodrigues, it's absolutely electrifying. A lot of times people tend to play it too slowly and becomes disjointed and lack cohesion, but Santiago plays it swiftly with out being too rushed like Alexis Weissenberg.

Good luck with the piece.
"I was brought up not to lie and I can not tell the truth"

Sergei Rachmaninov

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Postby Amphissa » Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:29 pm

CoolJL wrote:I'm curious as to which recording are you listening to?

The live recording I was referring to is by Yakov Kasman. It was his performance at the Tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1997. It is remarkable to hear this 1st sonata played live. There is no room for error. I think that is the reason few dare live performance of this piece.

Another studio recording worth hearing is by Fiorentino. His approach is fluid and swift, like liquid silver. Music just glides off his fingertips effortlessly. This is very different from the "Russian" sensibility. It is fascinating to hear it played this way, and Fiorentino was a great pianist. But I prefer Kasman's powerful live performance as more "idiomatic."

This is the recording by Kasman to look for. It is on Harmonia Mundi label. You can get it inexpensively on Amazon.

"Life without music is a mistake." Nietzsche

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First Sonata

Postby Loki » Sun Feb 25, 2007 1:44 pm

I agree the Rodriguez recording is good and that it's best to avoid Weissenberg, but my first choice is Gordon Fergus Thomson on Kingdom coupled with the second sonata.

Both sonatas are given absolutely tremendous performances but the first especially so. The story goes he had just broken up with his girlfriend when he recorded it which is why it is so emotion-laden (in all the right ways, I hasten to add)!

My first ever experience of this sonata as a recording was many years ago when RCA issued an LP of John Ogdon playing both sonatas - I wonder if this will ever get onto CD. I was impressed at the time but then I had never heard either work before then.

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Postby nextren » Wed Feb 28, 2007 4:04 am

Listen to Norman Cousin on Somm Recordings :D

GORGEOUS recording of Piano Sonata No. 1. Also has excellent rec. of op. 10 too.

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Re: I have absolutely fallen in love with......

Postby Daniel » Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:51 am

I only have Shelley's recording. Will anyone knowing both the Shelley version and the others make a comparison here?
As for the work itself, a big YES. But in listening it your brain must be involved at least at the same level as your ears :wink:

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Re: I have absolutely fallen in love with......

Postby morakeo » Sun Jan 18, 2009 2:23 pm

with... his 2nd Suite for 2 pianos, his Symphonic Dance, his Cello Sonata and his 3rd Piano Concerto...

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Re: I have absolutely fallen in love with......

Postby nenovd » Thu Dec 24, 2015 7:32 pm

Rachmaninov - Variations on a Theme of Corelli op.42

very fresh and great one ----- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-J1Kps4tX0

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Re: I have absolutely fallen in love with......

Postby amybugbee8 » Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:11 am

You're so funny and naughty. I love music.

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