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Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3 (Read 48818 times)

Offline cazico

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Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
« on: May 07, 2011, 09:30:03 AM »
Hi!

I never get bored of listening to these two giants - in my opinion the two best piano concertos the world has ever seen.

However, there are many recordings of these two concertos. Which one of them do you prefer?

My favourite is by far the recording from 1965 by Earl Wild. Except the cadenza in Rach 3, 1st mvt. - I don't like that one in Wild's.

What do you think?

Piano Street's Digital Sheet Music Library

Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto 2, opus 18
piano sheet music of Piano Concerto 2


Piano Street's Digital Sheet Music Library

Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto 3, opus 30
piano sheet music of Piano Concerto 3


Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #1 on: May 07, 2011, 01:40:43 PM »
I have got bored with listening to them and almost as bored with discussing them.

The first recording I ever heard of the 3rd was by Earl Wild and have yet to hear one that equals his interpretation. He plays it exactly the way I would play it if I had the ability.

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Offline chopinaninoff

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #2 on: May 07, 2011, 03:21:03 PM »
Hey,
 I have heard both concertos performed live by a good acquaintance  of mine, Maestro Nikolai Lugansky. I have heard this concerto performed many times, but he has performed it the best in my opinion. Even the public wouldn't let him get off stage, forcing him to play 4 encores! I highly suggest his recording. He was born for Rachmaninoff.
Richard

Offline perfect_pitch

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #3 on: May 07, 2011, 03:39:52 PM »
For me - Olga Kern's performance of Rachmaninoffs 3rd was definitely up there.
Same with Alexis Weissenbergs performance of Rachmaninoffs 2nd.

Offline omar_roy

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #4 on: May 07, 2011, 04:14:58 PM »
Oh this is such a difficult question, especially for the Rach 3.

For the Rach 2 my favorite is definitely Richter.

For the Rach 3 I quite like Horowitz/Reiner and Horowitz/Ormandy, but I also really like the more recent Leif Ove Andsnes/Pappano recording.

Lugansky's interpretation is quite tasty as well.

I have too many recordings of the Rach 3 to pick a favorite, honestly.

Offline christefan

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #5 on: May 07, 2011, 04:49:00 PM »
Richter for the Rach 2 and probably Horowitz/Barbirolli 1941 for the Rach 3, Rachmaninov's own performance of the 3rd I find a very interesting study compared to many performances particularly all the recent long,mannered performances where the concerto is turned into a completely different piece of music than what it is in his hands.

Offline retrouvailles

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #6 on: May 07, 2011, 07:27:31 PM »
If you want a recording with great technical prowess, a great non-egotistical interpretation, and with great modern sound quality, the Leif Ove Andsnes recordings of both concertos are what you are looking for. Avoid Horowitz at all costs, unless you like extremely clunky playing. And don't tell me that Horowitz's recordings have more color than others, because they don't.

Offline christefan

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #7 on: May 08, 2011, 05:44:49 AM »
Thanks for alerting me to a version I wasn't familiar with from Andsnes but at roughly 10 MINUTES longer than the version by the composer or Horowitz (someone who knew the composer personally) and 7 MINUTES longer than a very good version by Jorge Bolet (who also knew the composer) i'd say you like your Rachmaninov concertos slow and modified with lots of rubato and modern mannerism of thinking the piece sounds more profound by playing it slower.  For the original question by the person that started the thread, try this link http://pianowizard.www2.50megs.com/index.html  and after you've listened to 20 or 30 renditions by great artists I'm sure you'll find one that has the balance you prefer.  Hope you can find the music and not just a lot of personalization, try working on sections to get some more ideas.

Offline christefan

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #8 on: May 08, 2011, 05:50:02 AM »
BTW slowing a piece down by 30% is egotistical--no Horowitz doesn't have more color, his sound quality of lack there of came from an extremely light action on his performance piano that many pianists probably couldn't even play and very lacquered hammers.

Offline djealnla

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #9 on: May 08, 2011, 06:20:12 AM »
Zimerman and Berman, respectively.

Offline sjeon

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #10 on: May 10, 2011, 04:31:15 AM »
Rach himself, and maybe Horowitz

Offline retrouvailles

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #11 on: May 10, 2011, 06:58:31 AM »
Thanks for alerting me to a version I wasn't familiar with from Andsnes but at roughly 10 MINUTES longer than the version by the composer or Horowitz (someone who knew the composer personally) and 7 MINUTES longer than a very good version by Jorge Bolet (who also knew the composer) i'd say you like your Rachmaninov concertos slow and modified with lots of rubato and modern mannerism of thinking the piece sounds more profound by playing it slower.

Wrong. They are not significantly slower. Remember that Rachmaninoff's recording is heavily cut, also. I also don't care that Horowitz knew the composer. Sometimes the composer (or his students or associates) is not the final word in interpretation of his works. Andsnes's version takes a rather moderate tempo compared to many others and does not have much rubato, actually. I like it for the great amount of clarity and detail in it, something that is lost with Bolet and Horowitz and Rachmaninoff and other pianists from that bygone era. The modern sensibility that Andsnes subscribes to is that a piece sounds more profound through clear, level headed non-egotistical playing that elevates the piece itself, not the performer.

Offline christefan

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #12 on: May 10, 2011, 04:47:36 PM »
Don't bother to say wrong when it's not.  Horowitz renditions from 30 and 41 run 33.35 and 33.43, the composer's runs 33.49--Andsres (apparently your hero) plays the concerto in the radio braodcast of it at 41.33---that is about 30% slower.  I'm sure with your mindset knowing the composer isn't important, and i guess you didn't want to consider that Rachmaninov possible made cuts because that is how he saw his own concerto after many years had gone by and many performances of it reshaped his thinking--that doesn't seem to have any effect on you either.  Be happy with your musical ideas i'm sure there are other people that will like your ideas-do you play piano or play this concerto?

Offline retrouvailles

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #13 on: May 10, 2011, 05:40:19 PM »
Don't bother to say wrong when it's not.  Horowitz renditions from 30 and 41 run 33.35 and 33.43, the composer's runs 33.49--Andsres (apparently your hero) plays the concerto in the radio braodcast of it at 41.33---that is about 30% slower.  I'm sure with your mindset knowing the composer isn't important, and i guess you didn't want to consider that Rachmaninov possible made cuts because that is how he saw his own concerto after many years had gone by and many performances of it reshaped his thinking--that doesn't seem to have any effect on you either.  Be happy with your musical ideas i'm sure there are other people that will like your ideas-do you play piano or play this concerto?

Actually, I wasn't talking about the radio broadcast of Andsnes playing this concerto. He just released a studio recording of it recently. I don't feel like arguing with someone like you. I'm done here. And no, he isn't my hero. He is just a great pianist that I respect.

Offline matmilne

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #14 on: November 28, 2011, 02:25:52 PM »
Rachmaninoff's own performance is quite different.  The 3rd is my favorite concerto, his own interpretation is a stunning mixture of fiery velocity and beauty. 
Each performer plays the same piece differently, as they should.
composer, film, tv and games, and 24 piano concertos.

Offline 49410enrique

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #15 on: November 28, 2011, 10:38:53 PM »
hmm you might have to 'sign up' but the basic sign up w email is a free account, the site as a whole has loads of high quality well shot/edited full concerts and recitals in HD.

Yuja Wang's version is pretty phenomenal, it's amazing how much sound someone so tiny can produce and her digital agility is unreal

http://www.medici.tv/#!/yuri-temirkanov-yuja-wang-liadov-rachmaninov-tchaikovsky


Offline stoudemirestat

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #16 on: November 28, 2011, 10:42:46 PM »
I always liked Andrei Gavrilov myself...I have http://www.amazon.com/Rachmaninov-Piano-Concertos-etc/dp/B000XFFTYY/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1322520105&sr=8-4 that CD and it is one of my absolute favourite CD's.

Offline jrobinso

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #17 on: December 09, 2011, 10:41:21 PM »
I know this is late, but I think you guys ought to listen to Cecile Licad's version with the CSO and Claudio Abbado. Early digital so it doesn't have some of the nicest sound compared to today but it is extremely smooth and polished. She takes only a bit longer to perform than Serge but you really don't notice it. She has terrific touch.
The connecting passages I thought were all flawless, with the orchestra and piano producing an extremely smooth, balanced, and immensely listenable experience.
The one I always go back to….

BTW the "B" side has the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43...

Offline sevencircles

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #18 on: December 12, 2011, 10:37:11 AM »
I like Horowitz recording the most even though I don´t really like his playing during the last minutes.

Rach himself played it faster then he wanted since he was afraid that he would run out of tape if I am not entirely wrong and he dídn´t want any cuts.

The recording technology was really limited in those days.

Offline pytheamateur

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #19 on: December 12, 2011, 11:22:48 AM »
Zimerman and Berman, respectively.

I got Zimerman's CD of Rach 2.  Towards the end of the last movement, where the orchestra plays the famous theme, I thought the piano was just too loud with those chords.  This is probably a matter of recording engineering rather than playing.
Beethoven - Sonata in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 12
Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu, Nocturn in C sharp minor, Op post
Brahms - Op 118, Nos 2 & 3

Offline jmanpno

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #20 on: December 17, 2011, 07:51:53 AM »
Richter in Rach 2 and Argerich in Rach 3.

Thank GOD noone said Ashkenazy.... yawwwwwwwwwwn.

Chopaninoff should be banned for name dropping.  "Good acquaintance" yea right!  Probably met him twice after his performances.... once after Rach 2, once after Rach 3. 

Offline thorn

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #21 on: December 17, 2011, 02:35:15 PM »
Sometimes the composer (or his students or associates) is not the final word in interpretation of his works.

I couldn't disagree more.

When it comes to interpretations, there are millions of different things people could do, and I agree that each interpretation is as important as another as long as it is well thought out and the conviction to see it through is there. I am not as familiar with Rachmaninoff and his contemporaries as I am with other composers, so am going to use the example of Gieseking with Debussy, who is supposedly the "final word".

The composer does have the final word; they wrote the music and they saw it in a certain way. It doesn't mean that this is how it must be played and that any other interpretation is "wrong", neither does it mean that if the composer were still alive they would not approve of a different reading, it means that at the time of the last word of the composer, that is how they wanted the music to sound.

I cannot stand the majority of Gieseking's Debussy, and find it very cold and uninteresting. If anything, this means that I therefore don't like the intended sound of the piece, it doesn't mean that this wasn't how Debussy wanted it. Though in the Gieseking case, I'm sure it was Debussy's wife rather than Debussy himself (?)

Offline fierydog

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #22 on: December 18, 2011, 04:29:27 AM »
I wanted to drop by just to share my opinions with you all. I have heard many different interpretations of the Rach 2 and 3. That does not make me an expert on the topic by any means but I think I can recommend some nice gems people both might, or might not of heard.

For Rachmaninoff's 2nd I like Sviatoslav Richter, Georges Cziffra, Rosa Tamarkina, and William Kapell.

For Rachmaninoff's 3rd I like Emil Gilels (Listen to his 2nd movement, especially), Earl Wild, Martha Argerich, and Shura Cherkassky.

I wouldn't really recommend Horowitz or Rachmaninoff surprisingly. Their intepretations are certainly vital when discussing Rachmaninoff concerti but should never be the deciding factors or benchmarks for others.

One day I dream of performing all 4 of Rachmaninoff's concerti but like a few stated before me, even Rachmaninoff's piano concerti start to get old to those that listen to them a lot.

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #23 on: December 18, 2011, 04:52:28 AM »
I like Horowitz recording the most even though I don´t really like his playing during the last minutes.

Rach himself played it faster then he wanted since he was afraid that he would run out of tape if I am not entirely wrong and he dídn´t want any cuts.


There is no evidence for this whatsoever. It's just a casual assumption that has been widely portrayed as if it were fact. Of note is the fact that both of the two recordings of the 2nd concerto are remarkably similar in tempo, yet distributed differently between sides.

Offline teccomin

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #24 on: December 19, 2011, 12:35:28 AM »
Recently encountered this:
http://www.amazon.com/Rachmaninoff-Concerto-minor-Tchaikovsky-Piano/dp/B0000041DF
Pretty unique and exciting to listen to.

Offline keyboardkat

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #25 on: December 19, 2011, 10:20:32 PM »
What about Van Cliburn's 1958 live Carnegie Hall recordng with Kondrashin?   He plays it beautifully, with gorgeous tone, and he lets the composer's wonderful voicing speak for itself.  He uses the big cadenza in the first movement.   He also apparently plays some of the ossias, which were Rachmaninoff's originals, which he simplified for smaller hands.  Cliburn has the large, strong hands to do it.

Offline guldafan

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #26 on: July 23, 2014, 09:02:08 PM »
Heard Victor Merzhanov in the 3rd? He shared a gold medal with Richter in 1945 and died only two years ago. Here he offers a spacious but not at all self-indulgent view. Another unjustly overlooked  recording of 3 came from Malcuzynski. It's available on YouTube. Cheers.

Offline stevensk

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #27 on: July 25, 2014, 01:46:47 PM »
Oh...the hunt for the Holy Grail again  :(

Offline superstition2

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #28 on: October 02, 2014, 02:39:43 AM »
Don't bother to say wrong when it's not.  Horowitz renditions from 30 and 41 run 33.35 and 33.43, the composer's runs 33.49--Andsres (apparently your hero) plays the concerto in the radio braodcast of it at 41.33---that is about 30% slower.  I'm sure with your mindset knowing the composer isn't important, and i guess you didn't want to consider that Rachmaninov possible made cuts because that is how he saw his own concerto after many years had gone by and many performances of it reshaped his thinking--that doesn't seem to have any effect on you either.  Be happy with your musical ideas i'm sure there are other people that will like your ideas-do you play piano or play this concerto?
Rachmaninov knew how to add as a grand master. His ability to cut was on par with the average unknown musicologist.

In any case, despite the stupid cutting, his performance of the 3rd is my choice. I also like his 2nd the best. I don't, though, think he was particularly impressive with the 1st and 4th. I'll take Anievas for the butchered-yet-still-sublime ("revised") 4th, and the 1st for that matter.

I also realize that it has been hip to criticize Horowitz for some time now, but — although I don't love all of his performances, he truly was a sensational talent, one of the greatest ever. Listen to his Scriabin, his Liszt sonata, and even his Prokofiev 7th. He did things with the Scriabin 5th and 10th that others can only dream about (live and on outdated meds no less), even though I choose less harsh recordings of them to listen to most of the time.

Offline josephrowe

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #29 on: February 13, 2017, 10:38:28 PM »
If you want a recording with great technical prowess, a great non-egotistical interpretation, and with great modern sound quality, the Leif Ove Andsnes recordings of both concertos are what you are looking for. Avoid Horowitz at all costs, unless you like extremely clunky playing. And don't tell me that Horowitz's recordings have more color than others, because they don't.
Retrouvailles, I want to thank you publicly for this recommendation of Andsnes' Rach 3. It has become my favorite, better even than Horowitz. I almost didn't get it, because someone posted here that it is 30% longer than standard versions... but this should be a lesson to us all: not to judge the quality of a performance, nor even its sense of tempo, but abstract measurements like this. Personally, I have very low tolerance for too-slow eccentric tempos ... that's why I almost didn't get it... but never, NOT ONCE, did I feel Andsnes was playing too slowly. This is a magnificent performance, with clarity, profound feeling, and, as you say "non-egotistical", which to me means he is at the service of the music, and not trying to prove something abou himself. I cotnrast this with Martha Argerich's (to me) very egotistical beginning of the 3rd movement, which she plays at breakneck speed, destroying the music, because (I suppose) she wants to out-macho the machos with big hands... But never mind that. Andsnes is a major discovery, and I thank you for it!

Offline coda_colossale

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #30 on: February 14, 2017, 12:59:27 PM »
Zimerman and Berman, respectively.
Agree about both wholeheartedly.

Surprised to see Lazar Berman's been mentioned just once. Pretty much the definition of "definitive".

Offline mikebat321

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #31 on: March 08, 2017, 05:46:30 PM »
It might be because it was the first recording I heard as a child, but the old recording of Moura Lympany of Rach 2 is still the closest to my heart. She seems to be delivering the message of what Rachmaninov actually meant to say with this piece.

Mike

Offline abel2

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Re: Best recording of Rach 2 and Rach 3
«Reply #32 on: March 10, 2017, 12:42:20 AM »
My all-time favorite recording of Rach 3 is Olga Kern at the 2001 (?) Van Cliburn. To me every note is just how I think it should be, (except the two at the beginning of course) and the third movement especially is both the perfect tempo and free from Horowitz's clunky, unnecessary rolled chords. As far as Rach 2 goes, I don't really have a favorite. I don't like the second concerto nearly as much as the third.