Posts tagged as "sergei-rachmaninov"

Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2; Isle of the Dead

April 29, 2016

Receiving its first ever release on CD, this legendary performance of Rachmaninov’s super-romantic Second Symphony conducted by Paul Kletzki will be seized up by collectors and bargain hunters alike. From Ashkenazy’s remarkable survey of the Rachmaninov orchestral works comes ‘The Isle of the Dead’. Reviewing it, Gramophone magazine writes: ‘a searingly powerful reading of ‘The […]

Rachmaninov: The Bells; Spring; Three Russian Songs

April 29, 2016

Asked in later life to name his favourite works, Rachmaninov chose not his orchestral masterpieces nor those for piano but two of his choral works, the ‘Vespers’ and this ‘choral symphony’ of sorts, ‘The Bells’ based on verses by Edgar Allan Poe. It is good to welcome back Dutoit’s spacious and beautifully recorded account and […]

Kaleidoscope – Piano Encores

April 29, 2016

When Vladimir Horowitz died in 1989, many music-lovers bemoaned the passing of ‘the last Romantic’ – an allusion to a bigger-than-life and subjective brand of pianism more typical of the first part of the 20th century than of its close. But was Horowitz really ‘the last’? When Jorge Bolet died a year later, the phrase […]

The Art of Oda Slobodskaya

April 20, 2016

Born in 1888, the Russian soprano, Oda Slobodskaya, won a scholarship for secondary education but, having completed her schooling, to her displeasure, found herself working with her parents in a second hand clothes shop. Despite having no formal musical training, she travelled, at the age of eighteen, from her hometown of Vilno (then part of […]

Russian Piano Encores

April 18, 2016

Given Russia’s richness in superstar pianists, it is not surprising that Russian composers have composed extensively for the piano. Some of the composers represented in this collection were impressive pianists in their own right and they composed music designed to display their own technique and artistry. Others were more modestly gifted as performers but still […]

Rachmaninov: Études-Tableaux, Op. 33 & Op. 39

April 18, 2016

The seventeen ‘Études-tableaux’ date from the last decade of Rachmaninov’s life in Russia. By this time he had completed Preludes in each of the major and minor keys and was ready to move in a slightly different direction. By qualifying the term with the word ‘tableau’, Rachmaninov seemed to be suggesting the introduction of a […]

Nicolai Ghiaurov sings Russian Songs & Arias

March 12, 2016

For thirty years, from 1960 to 1990, Nicolai Ghiaurov was an indispensable figure on the international operatic scene. His voluminous base, incisive delivery and imposing presence meant that he was in demand in every centre of opera. His range of roles stretched from Mozart and Rossini through to Verdi and Puccini and many parts in […]

Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3; Solo Piano Works

March 12, 2016

2014 marked the centenary of the birth of the colossal Cuban-born pianist, Jorge Bolet. Signed to Decca later in life, he made a series of magnificent Liszt recordings, but also recorded music by Chopin, Schumann, Brahms and Rachmaninov. One of Bolet’s own teachers, Josef Hofmann, was the dedicatee of Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto, a work […]

Rachmaninov: Moments Musicaux; Corelli Variations; Six Preludes

March 12, 2016

Lazar Berman, a bear of a man whom The Times of London called ‘one of the last unabashed exponents of the Romantic tradition of Russian pianism’, was known for the power of his playing and for his prodigious technique but was also capable of great delicacy at the keyboard. The core of his repertoire was […]

Virtuoso Violin

March 7, 2016

The violinist who straddled the divide between the old ways and the new, was the Viennese virtuoso, Wolfgang Eduard Schneiderhan. He was born on 28th May 1915 and beginning violin lessons at five, he polished his technique under Sevcík and Winkler. From the 1950s onward, Schneiderhan displayed all the qualities normally associated with German musicians. […]