Rachmaninoff: Préludes; Études-Tableaux; Moments musicaux

Rachmaninoff: Préludes; Études-Tableaux; Moments musicaux

by Sergei BabayanSergei Babayan

CD

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Overview

These Rachmaninoff recordings by pianist Sergei Babayan were made in Hamburg in 2009. The graphics are silent on what caused the 11-year time lag before they were released by the Deutsche Grammophon label in 2020, and on whether Babayan made them as a set or recorded other material at the same time. This is too bad, for someone deserves the credit. It may be Babayan himself, who is an exceptional Rachmaninoff interpreter. The words "delicate" and "spontaneous" aren't commonly raised in talking about Rachmaninoff, but they apply here. Babayan avoids the mighty Rachmaninoff of the giant hands, selecting quieter pieces that only intermittently build to fortissimo. Instead, he ties the composer to a tradition that was reaching its tail end in his time: that of improvisation by concert pianists. In these performances, one can feel the thrill Rachmaninoff's audiences must have experienced even when he was not spanning and pounding the keyboard: the rippling, shimmering runs, the free rhythms, the sense that even greater mysteries than those heard are being held back and promised for later. The presence of three transcriptions (two by Arcadi Volodos and one by Rachmaninoff) further suggests that Babayan shaped the program himself, for they fit into the remarkable sense of flow that the music has overall. In a marketplace filled with unimaginative beginning-to-end traversals of the Rachmaninoff "Preludes" or "Etudes-Tableaux," here is a program that Rachmaninoff might have offered.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/18/2020
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
UPC: 0028948391813
catalogNumber: 003249502
Rank: 8365

Tracks

  1. Moments musicaux (6) for piano, Op. 16: No. No. 6 iin C major
  2. Moments musicaux (6) for piano, Op. 16: No. 2 in E flat minor
  3. Sonata for cello & piano in G minor, Op. 19: Movement III: Andante
  4. Etudes-Tableaux, for piano, Op. 39: No. 2 in A minor
  5. Etudes-Tableaux, for piano, Op. 39: No. 1 in C minor
  6. Etudes-Tableaux, for piano, Op. 39: No. 3 in C minor
  7. Prelude for piano No. 17 in F minor, Op. 32/6
  8. Lilacs, song for voice & piano, Op. 21/5
  9. Prelude for piano No. 23 in G sharp minor, Op. 32/12
  10. Prelude for piano No. 9 in A flat major, Op. 23/8
  11. Etudes-Tableaux, for piano, Op. 39: No. 5 in E flat minor
  12. Prelude for piano No. 5 in D major, Op. 23/4
  13. Pieces (2) for piano, TN ii/17: Morceau de fantaisie in G minor
  14. Melody, song for voice & piano, Op. 21/9
  15. Prelude for piano No. 21 in B minor, Op. 32/10

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