Lugansky: Rachmaninov - Rachmaninov Piano Concertos 1-4, Paganini Rhapsody (3 CD box set, APE)
Lugansky: Rachmaninov - Rachmaninov Piano Concertos 1-4, Paganini Rhapsody (3 CD box set, APE)

Performer: Nikolai Lugansky
Orchestra: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Sakari Oramo
Composer: Sergey Rachmaninov
Audio CD
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 3 CD box set
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Warner Classics
Size: 740 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Disc: 1
01. Vivace
02. Andante
03. Allegro Vivace
04. Allegro Ma Non Tanto
05. Intermezzo: Adagio
06. Finale: Alla Breve

Disc: 2
01. I Moderato
02. II Adagio Sostenuto
03. III Allegro Scherzando
04. I Allegro Vivace (Alla Breve)
05. II Largo
06. III Allegro Vivace

Disc: 3
01. Introduction: Allegro Vivace/I (Precedente)
02. Theme: L’istesso Tempo/II L’istesso Tempo/III L’istesso Tempo/IV Piu Vivo/V Tempo Precedente/VI L’istesso Tempo
03. VII Meno Mosso, A Tempo Moderato
04. VIII Tempo I/IX L’istesso Tempo
05. X Poco Marcato
06. XI Moderato
07. XII Tempo Di Minuetto
08. XIII Allegro/XIV L’istesso Tempo/XV Piu Vivo Scherzando
09. XVI Allegretto/XVII Allegretto
10. XVIII Andante Cantabile
11. XIX L’istesso Tempo/XX Un Poco Piu Vivo/XXI Un Poco Piu Vivo/XXII Un Poco Piu Vico (Alla Breve)
12. XXIII L’istesso Tempo/XXIV A Tempo Poco Meno Mosso
13. Theme: Andante
14. I Poco Piu Mosso/II L’istesso Tempo
15. III tempo Di Menuetto
16. IV Andante
17. V Allegro/VI I Poco Piu Mosso/VII Vivace
18. VIII Adagio Misterioso
19. IX Un Poco Piu Mosso/X Allegro Scherzando/XI Allegro Vivace/XII L’istesso Tempo
20. XIII Agitato/Intermezzo: A Tempo Rubato/XIV Andante/XV L’istesso Tempo
21. XVI Allegro Vivace/XVII Meno Mosso
22. XVIII Allegro Con Brio/XIX Piu Mosso-Agitato/XX Piu Mosso/Coda: Andante
23. Theme: Largo
24. I Moderato/II Allegro/III L’istesso Tempo/IV L’istesso Tempo/V Meno Mosso/VI Meno Mosso
25. VII Allegro/VIII L’istesso Tempo/IX L’istesso Tempo/X Piu Vivo
26. XI Lento
27. XII Moderato
28. XIII Largo
29. XIV Moderato/XV Allegro Scherzando
30. XVI Lento/XVII Grave
31. XVIII Piu Mosso
32. XIX Allegro Vivace/XX Presto
33. XXI Andante-Piu Vivo
34. XXII Maestoso-Meno Mosso-Presto

Nikolai Lugansky – the fitting soloist for the Rachmaninov concertos

Three years ago (in September 2009) I had the opportunity to listen to a live concert given in Bucharest by the young star of the keyboard Nikolai Lugansky. I was then impressed by the finesse of his touch, by his refined musicianship and most of all by his artistic maturity. I knew that he is a specialist in Rachmaninov, although he on that very occasion performed the Fourth Concerto by Beethoven with the Orchestra Maggio Musicale Fiorentino under Cristian Mandeal. Being convinced by his unimpeachable account as soloist, I started to look for Lugansky’s recordings. And again the opportunity played a decisive role. When I came across to this 3-CD box set comprising his vision on Rachmaninov concertos plus variations (Paganini, Corelli, Chopin) I went for it instantly.

The result is completely satisfactory. All the concertos are flawlessly performed, with a proper Russian aroma, yet with a restrained taste for virtuosity. The technical difficulties of those four plus one finger-bending concertante works are elegantly surpassed by the aristocratic style of Lugansky’s playing. The dialog soloist – orchestra (excellent CBSO) is carefully led by a fine conductor as Sakari Oramo. When it comes to solo variations (on Corelli and Chopin themes), the pianist simply shines. Here, in the absence of an orchestral partner, the dialog moves to a more profund level. It takes place between soloist and composer’s most intimate thoughts.

All in all an enchanting Rachmaninov traversal offerd by one of the foremost pianists of the beginning of the XXI century! Don’t avoid such a seductive experience, if you are a piano aficionado!

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