Biret: Rachmaninov - Préludes op.23, Cinq morceaux de fantasie op.3 (FLAC)
Biret: Rachmaninov - Préludes op.23, Cinq morceaux de fantasie op.3 (FLAC)

Performer: Idil Biret
Composer: Sergey Rachmaninov
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (tracks+cue)
Label: Naxos
Size: 165 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

01. 10 Preludes, Op. 23: No. 1 in F sharp minor: Largo
02. 10 Preludes, Op. 23: No. 2 in B flat major: Maestoso
03. 10 Preludes, Op. 23: No. 3 in D minor: Tempo di minuetto
04. 10 Preludes, Op. 23: No. 4 in D major: Andante cantabile
05. 10 Preludes, Op. 23: No. 5 in G minor: Alla marcia
06. 10 Preludes, Op. 23: No. 6 in E flat major: Andante
07. 10 Preludes, Op. 23: No. 7 in C minor: Allegro
08. 10 Preludes, Op. 23: No. 8 in A flat major: Allegro vivace
09. 10 Preludes, Op. 23: No. 9 in E flat minor: Presto
10. 10 Preludes, Op. 23: No. 10 in G flat major: Largo
11. Morceaux de fantaisie, Op. 3: No. 1 Elegie in E flat minor
12. Morceaux de fantaisie, Op. 3: No. 2 Prelude in C sharp minor
13. Morceaux de fantaisie, Op. 3: No. 3 Melodie in E major
14. Morceaux de fantaisie, Op. 3: No. 4 Polichinelle in F sharp minor
15. Morceaux de fantaisie, Op. 3: No. 5 Serenade in B flat minor

Extraordinary Piano Playing

In December of 1975 I bought a ticket on the spur of the moment for a recital at Alice Tully Hall by a Turkish pianist who was then completely unknown to me named Idil Biret. It was one of those memorable experiences in which you realize that you are in the presence of something extraordinary. After amazing performances of the Beethoven c-minor variations and Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit and some other things, she played, as an encore, the Rachmaninov G-minor Prelude (#5 in the Op. 23 set), and I nearly fell out of my seat with astonishment. The performance was on a huge scale. One felt the motion of armies across the steppes of Russia. And yet the playing was at the same time absolutely transparent. Most of all, her playing had an extraordinary inevitability about it. She conveyed the sense that she had the last note of the piece already in mind when she sounded the first.
The only significant flaw in Idil Biret’s playing when I heard her in the mid-seventies was a tendency to a somewhat harsh sound. It is a great pleasure to report that this is no longer audible in her Naxos recordings of the last decade. In fact the sound on this recording is quite beautiful and rich — much better than you would expect on a budget label. Altogether this is an amazing record. Easily the best performance I know of these pieces. And Biret’s recordings of Brahms and Chopin are equally good.
Idil Biret started out in life as a celebrated child prodigy. Her fame as an adult has never quite equalled what she experienced as a child. But in my opinion the quality of her playing has in fact fully realized the early promise and it is a shame that she is not generally recognized as what she truly is: one of the world’s greatest living musicians.
Lancelot Fletcher

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