P0376. BORIS BEREZOVSKY, w.Liss Cond. Oural Phil.: Concerto #2 in c; Concerto #3 in d (both Rachmaninoff). (France) Mirare 008, recorded 2005. Gatefold Edition. - 3760127220084
There are many factors that contribute to a great and worthwhile album; the actual performance (in this case by orchestra and soloist) is obviously important, but also significant is recorded sound quality, programming, interesting and informative liner notes, and (although less important) nice packaging doesn't hurt, either. This CD of Rachmaninov's "First" and "Fourth" piano concertos and the "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" gives listeners all of these things. The liner notes provide an exceptionally useful timeline highlighting the chronology of two concertos, showing where revisions were made and when the final version emerged relative to the initial sketches. The Orchestre Philharmonique de l'Oural does a superb job of providing a lush and sensual backdrop for all three works heard here. The horn solos are quite lovely, the string playing sensitive and warm, and interplay between orchestra and soloist is always flowing and natural. Tchaikovsky Competition Gold Medal winner Boris Berezovsky is the brightest shining jewel of this album. His playing shifts deftly between elegant, flowing melodies; nimble and agile fast passages; and triumphant, powerful climaxes. The recorded sound is remarkably clear without becoming tinny. Truly, this recording has it all and would be a good addition to a larger collection as well as a fitting introduction to these works.
- Mike D. Brownell, All Music Guide