A Tribute to Rachmaninoff

This live recording of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto no.3 was made on November 13, 1992 at the Bolshoi Hall of Moscow Conservatory during a concert to honour the memory of Jacob Flier (1912-1977) with whom Pletnev and I both studied. Flier was one of the greatest teachers in Moscow Conservatory who brought up several generations of prominent pianists. It was a very special and emotional occasion for Pletnev and myself and we did our best to pay a worthy tribute to our teacher.

Vladimir Feltsman

Pianist and conductor Vladimir Feltsman is one of the most versatile and constantly interesting musicians of our time. His vast repertoire encompasses music from the Baroque to 20th-century composers. A regular guest soloist with leading symphony orchestras in the United States and abroad, he appears in the most prestigious concert series and music festivals all over the world.



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Vladimir Feltsman here gives us a very balanced and agreeable programme. It comprises a live performance in Moscow and a recent studio recording session for Nimbus separated by eighteen years. There is no musical reason why two such disparate sources should not be linked on one disc and ... time has by no means dimmed his artistry and both performances are testimony to his reputation as a superlative interpreter of Rachmaninoff.

The main drawback to this disc lies in the juxtaposition of the warm, detailed studio ambience with the distant, papery acoustic of the live recorded sound from 1992. That said, I still value the passion and sweep of the Feltsman-Pletnev partnership above virtually any other version. Feltsman’s virtuosity and complete immersion in the idiom are things of wonder. This is a grand, storming performance in which technical difficulties are not even a consideration for the soloist. The Finale builds and builds to a truly thrilling climax and the audience response is ecstatic.

In addition, the dreamy beauty of Feltsman’s playing of the Elegy and the six Preludes in themselves constitute some of the most gloriously sentimental and impassioned pianism I have heard for a good while. In short, a collector’s disc where it is very easy to make allowances for the sonic deficiencies in the concerto. Ralph Moore, musicweb-international.com

Feltsman opens with a newly recorded selection of solo works of heart-stopping beauty ... his richly upholstered tonal palette is superby captured. His live 1992 performance of the D minor Concerto is a fine account. Both Pletnev and Feltsman studied under Flier. They do him - and Rachmaninov - proud. Jeremy Nichols, Gramophone

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