P0680. SERGEI RACHMANINOFF: Solo Piano Recordings, Vol. I, 1925-42, incl. Schumann & Chopin (incl. the latter’s 'Funeral March' Sonata #2 in b-flat). (Germany) Naxos 8.112020, recorded 1925-42. Transfers by Ward Marston. - 636943202074
“How fascinating and instructive to return to legendary performances of the past….So superbly remastered by Ward Marston (a vast improvement on RCA’s long-deleted 10–disc set of the complete recordings)….This is a superb first volume in that which promises to be an invaluable series.”
- Bryce Morrison, GRAMOPHONE, Oct., 2009
“These remain stupendous performances….as a supreme display of piano command and control….since the transfers are so carefully done, the presentation is so clear and well-documented, and the disc price so attractive, it’s hard to imagine resistance to such an invitation to re-enter the universe of Rachmaninoff’s interpretative greatness.”
- Max Loppert, CLASSIC RECORD COLLECTOR, Summer, 2009
"Particularly renowned are Rachmaninoff's renditions of Schumann's CARNAVAL and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata, along with many shorter pieces. He recorded all four of his piano concertos with the Philadelphia Orchestra, including two versions of the second concerto with Leopold Stokowski conducting, and a world première recording of the 'Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini', soon after the first performance (1934) with the Philadelphians under Stokowski. The first, third, and fourth concerti were recorded with Eugene Ormandy. Rachmaninoff also made three recordings conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra in his own Third Symphony, his symphonic poem 'Isle of the Dead', and his orchestration of 'Vocalise'."
“Rachmaninoff made his first tour of the United States as a pianist in 1909, an event for which he composed the Piano Concerto #3 as a ‘calling card’. This successful tour made him a popular figure in America. Nevertheless, he loathed the tour and declined offers of future American concerts. Many years later, in 1928, for Horowitz, it was a dream come true to meet Rachmaninoff, to whom he referred as ‘the musical God of my youth ... To think that this great man should accompany me in his own Third Concerto ... This was the most unforgettable impression of my life! This was my real début!’ For Rachmaninoff their Steinway basement meeting was equally unforgettable. The meeting between composer and interpreter would mark the beginning of a friendship that continued until Rachmaninoff's death. In fact, the two men were quite supportive of each other's careers and greatly admired each other's work. Horowitz stipulated to his manager that ‘If I am out of town when Rachmaninoff plays in New York, you must telegraph me, and you must let me come back, no matter where I am or what engagement I have’. Likewise Rachmaninoff was always present at Horowitz’s New York concerts and was ‘always the last to leave the hall’.”
- Z. D. Akron