…But indeed, I would hold up these three last pieces as touchstones of Blechacz’s current achievement. With their complete mastery of rubato, voicing and structure combined with expressive freedom, it is impossible to hear them without feeling that the tiny group of living great pianists is now a little larger. This is a career to follow, so don’t miss out.
Martha Argerich’s long career has taken in many outstanding solo performances, but she has often professed to feeling ‘lonely’ on stage. This CD showcases the area in which she feels truly at home: her extensive and fruitful collaborations with other first-class musicians. Among the many younger pianists she has taken under her wing at her academy in Lugano are Lilya Zilberstein, who rose to fame in the 1990s and whose sparkling playing is also featured on this disc, as well as Nelson Goerner, whose collaboration with Argerich in Rachmaninov’s nostalgic Symphonic Dances is released here for the first time.
Rachmaninov’s rarely heard, and unfinished opera, Monna Vanna is recorded here in a newer edition by Gennadi Belov and led by Vladimir Ashkenazy, an iconic artist and expert in Russian music. This recording of Monna Vanna is a world première recording of the sung Russian version – the language in which Rachmaninov originally intended the opera to be performed.
"…Wang's impeccable technique and tonal beauty certainly aid in pouring this old wine into a new bottle . . . the spins and gyrations become quite beguiling, while Abbado injects his own potent impetus into the mix. A disarming lovely set of Rachmaninov works, beautifully played and gorgeously recorded courtesy of engineer Stephan Flock." ~Audiophile Audition
S.Rachmanihov wrote "Vespers" in 1915. It is a work of large scope, fully in keeping with the requirements of the genre and style of church music. At the same time "Vespers" bears the mark of the composer's unbounded imagination and is imbued with the poetry of antiquity and the enchantment of Russian folk art.