Sergei Rachmaninoff, Vol. III           (Naxos 8.111397)
Item# P0916
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Sergei Rachmaninoff, Vol. III           (Naxos 8.111397)
P0916. SERGEI RACHMANINOFF: Solo Recordings, Vol.III, incl. Bach, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Kreisler & Rachmaninoff. (Germany) Naxos 8.111397, recorded 1925-42. Transfers by Ward Marston. - 747313339723


"This third volume of Rachmaninov’s Victor recordings contains discs he made of his own solo compositions and arrangements from the introduction of electrical recording in 1925 to a year before his death. The works recorded were those most in demand by the public, each piece subject to Rachmaninov’s perfectionism and the version released always the best of a number of takes (for example, the recording of his famous 'Prelude in C sharp minor' is 'Take' 23). Whether it be in the 1925 recording of his transcription of Kreisler’s 'Liebesfreud' or the February 1942 recording of the same work (in which he displays a cast iron technique only a year before his death), the sheer virtuosity, utter clarity and supreme musicianship of Rachmaninov’s playing style are undiminished. The first two releases in this series have been acclaimed for their superb remastering.

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