Rachmaninoff : Piano Concerto No. 2

Rachmaninoff : Piano Concerto No. 2


Byron Janis, Antal Dorati conducting the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (1960)

Mercury Living Presence SR 90260

Speakers Corner Records : LP 180 gram

Brand New and Sealed Record

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Sergey Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) :
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Opus 18
Prelude No. 6 in E Flat Major, Opus 23
Prelude No. 2 in C Sharp Minor, Opus 3

The Second Piano Concerto represents Rachmaninov’s escape from a crisis lasting several years during which he experienced one catastrophe after another. At the suggestion of his psychiatrist, who had prophesied that he would write wonderful music, he turned once again to the work – and it brought him his greatest success to that date. Although the piano writing demands enormous technical dexterity, the composer was apparently not solely aiming at producing a virtuosic showpiece, since the piano part clings snugly to the orchestra like an accompaniment for long stretches, although it does triumph powerfully here and there for good measure.
Once again, Byron Janis – whose brilliant interpretations of Rachmaninov’s repertory have influenced whole generations of pianists – has made a benchmark recording in which he alagamates tremendous energy with great tranquility. He revels in the late-Romantic ecstatic harmonies, dazzles us with his transparent presentation of the internal structures, and displays great vigour in the weighty themes. The emotional middle movement is also glorious in that Janis enjoys to the full the interplay of passion and reverie with expansive chords and dark-hued tonalities.

Recorded April 1960 at the Northrop Memorial Auditorium in Minneapolis by C.R. Fine and Robert Eberenz.

The "golden age" of recordings was from 1955 to 1965, at the beginning of the LP and the stereo era, where pure vacuum tube amplification helped produce recordings demonstrating unparalleled fidelity and warmth, lifelike presence and illumination.

This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the original analogue studio tapes through to the cutting head, and was pressed with virgin vinyl at Pallas. More information under http://www.pure-analogue.com