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Rachmaninoff's 3rd Piano Concerto

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I was digging through my mother's CD collection and found one of the soundtracks to the movie "Shine". It included the Rachmaninoff 3rd Piano Concerto.


Is it true that the "Rach 3" is the hardest piece in the world?

Is there any essiential recording to get?
post #2 of 34
I like Rachmaninov Piano No 3 & Tchaikovsky Piano No 1, played by Argerich on the Philips label.

--Chris
post #3 of 34
Need I say more? Horowitz and Argerich
post #4 of 34
Ashkenazy with Previn conducting the London Symphony - played more as an emotive masterpiece and not just a chance to show off pianist bravura.
post #5 of 34

Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3, Etc / Rodriguez, Et Al

Quote:
Originally posted by Czilla9000
Is there any essiential recording to get?


Santiago Rodriguez' recording (pic is linked) is listed with a Rosette (special class, outstanding recording, etc.) and as a Key Recording (used as a basis for a personal collection) in the 2003/4 Edition of the Penguin Guide to Compact Discs.
post #6 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by hempcamp
I like Rachmaninov Piano No 3 & Tchaikovsky Piano No 1, played by Argerich on the Philips label.
-Chris
Good call by Chris here
Must be careful since there are two Argerich/Phillips versions in the catalog, you want the older one paired with an amazing live performance of Tchaikovsky Piano 1......which makes this CD absolutely essential to any classical collection......buy this now!

Argerich/Phillips

For older mono recordings the standard has been Horowitz/RCA/Reiner recorded in1951, Rachmaninov himself has said that Horowitz was best performer of his 3rd concerto (even better than his own recordings!). There is newer stereo version done with Ormandy on RCA but the performance and sound quality are not top notch.

Have not heard the new Rodriguez/Elan version Fractus mentions.

You should really just get a budget complete concerto 1-4 set also. I own several, most common is the Ashkenazy/London set which is OK but not my fav (a bit too relaxed for my taste), I would go with the Wild/Chandos set as a starting point myself........Wild has tremendous panache that comes closer to Horowitz prime versions.

Wild/Chandos
post #7 of 34
Quote:
Argerich/Phillips
I have this CD and it's as good as they say. You'll recognize the Tchaikovsky for sure.
post #8 of 34
Hello, although this isn't the 3rd, you may also want to check out Helene Grimaud's version of Piano Concerto #2 (et al) on Teldec. The recording isn't the greatest, but her playing is wonderful (this from someone who is not a big classical listener for the most part). I can hear her breathing as she pounds the keys on several passages...she really seems to play that piano.

Did I mention she's quite easy on the eyes?

The other recording of her I have playing Beetoven's Piano Concerto #4 (et al) is also just medocre, at best.

Great playing, poor recording, again. Unfortunately, classical seems to suffer from this malady quite a bit.

Cruc
post #9 of 34
while you're at it, why not find out more about the other rach piano concertos?

ashkenazy / previn / london symphony orchestra

here's an excellent set of the complete 4 rach piano concertos. i have it and i can testify to its recorded quality.
post #10 of 34
I have the Agerich/Philips for some time now, and it is indeed brilliant. The Tchaikovsky Concerto on the same CD is very good as well.

I have the Ashkenazy set adhoc mentioned as well, and it's pretty good too. I saw Ashkenazy live when he was here in Singapore (though he played the Mozart Piano Concerto #27) and it's brilliant.

Regards
CK
post #11 of 34
The Helfgott is pitiful. In addition to those mentioned, the Berman/Abbado is nice--especially in the cadenza.
Oddly, Rach's own recorded performance is not particularly distinguished.
I wouldn't bother with the Grimaud unless you've got video.
post #12 of 34
haha that reminds me, iirc that apparently rachmaninov commented to the people around him at a concert that he wished he played his own pieces like horowitz did.
post #13 of 34
I've been listening to the Rodriguez' recording and it's some beautiful playing. I still can't get used to hearing people cough though during the performance. Don't they pass out lozenges?


__________________

post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by fractus2
I've been listening to the Rodriguez' recording and it's some beautiful playing. I still can't get used to hearing people cough though during the performance. Don't they pass out lozenges?
It's a worldwide phenomenon. You hear them in recordings, you hear them in live performances everywhere. It becomes almost like a tradition to cough or clear your throat between intervals. 2nd most irritating to latecomers in a concert.

Regards
CK
post #15 of 34
Personally, I like Rachmaninov's own recordings of his preludes far more than Horowitz's, even if they are all scratchy and old.
For the third, I really like Yefim Bronfman's version on Sony Classics with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Esa Pekka Salonen. He is not quite as well known, but I think this is a top notch recording. I am also a huge fan of any Rachmaninov that Sviatoslav Richter plays...though I have not heard his 3rd (the second is great).
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