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

Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3; Solo Piano Works
Jorge Bolet
Catalogue No.

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 he recorded for Decca, together with the Second, and a series of solo piano works. There were three CDs in all of the music of Rachmaninov and these aristocratic performances are reissued here as a 2CD set. The notes include comments by Bolet on his artistic approach to the Third Concerto.


Piano Concertos No. 2
Piano Concerto No. 3
Variations on a theme of Chopin
Five Preludes – Op.3 No.2, Op.32 No.7, Op.32 No.12, Op.23 No.5, Op.23 No.10
Mélodie, Op.3 No.3
Liebesleid (Kreisler / Rachmaninov)
Liebesfreud (Kreisler / Rachmaninov)

Jorge Bolet, piano
Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal
Charles Dutoit (Concerto No. 2)

London Symphony Orchestra
Ivan Fischer (Concerto No. 3)

Recording information

Recording Producers: Ray Minshull (Piano Concerto No. 2); Peter Wadland (Piano Concerto No. 3, Chopin Variations, Preludes, Mélodie, Liebesleid, Liebesfreud)
Recording Engineer: John Dunkerley
Recording Locations: Kingsway Hall, London, UK, 19–20 September 1982 (Piano Concerto No. 3); Walthamstow Assembly Hall, London, UK, 28, 30 and 31 January 1987 (Preludes, Mélodie, Liebesleid, Liebesfreud); St. Barnabas, Woodside Park, London, UK, January 1986 (Chopin Variations); St. Eustache, Montréal, Canada, 21–22 May 1987 (Piano Concerto No. 2)


‘a greatly superior recording is one of the attractions of this CD, and at countless points it highlights Bolet’s absolute command of this work’s myriad pianistic complexities … the finale’s central scherzando is executed with great pianistic acuity’ (Piano Concerto No. 3) Gramophone, 1983

‘The selection of Preludes finds him very much on home ground … The recorded sound has been sensitively achieved – the hushed winding-down in the coda to the Variations is superbly captured’ Gramophone, 1988

‘a splendid first movement climax … the opening and closing sections of the slow movement are ravishingly beautiful, helped by the glowing Montreal acoustics … a sumptuous, spectacular Decca recording’ (Piano Concerto No. 2) Gramophone, 1988