- Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 16
- Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18
18.99 In Stock
If you're wondering where the commanding performances of Russian music like those in days of old might be, try the series of live recordings from the Mariinsky label by pianist Denis Matsuev and the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev, recorded at the label's and the orchestra's namesake theater. All have been strong, but this one, with a pair of complementary, but contrasting, concertos, may be the best of all. Gergiev's versions of symphonies by these composers have been well wrought, but he has a certain meeting of the minds with Matsuev that takes the concertos to the next level. The long arc is what makes these performances work: the passages where the piano bubbles under the surface, only to finally explode into action, the breadth of the Rachmaninov slow movement, the control over how the Russian neoclassic materials in the Prokofiev are gradually given an edgy bit. The sheer excitement and sense of forward motion are rare in modern times: sample the final movement of the Rachmaninov for a taste. This is Russian music-making in the classic mold, fun, powerful, and deeply lyrical.