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Rachmaninov*, Jean-Philippe Collard, Michel Plasson, Orchestre National Du Capitole De Toulouse ?– Les 4 Concertos Pour Piano

This is certainly one of the best performances of Rachmaninov's 4 concertos. Jean-Philippe Collard makes Vladimir Ashkenazy forget about concerto n ° 1 and eclipses Hélène Grimaud in n ° 2: it gives them nothing in virtuosity and nuances while giving them another power, almost a violence at times. Collard's piano is admirably served by the energetic direction of Michel Plasson. Only for the concerto No. 3 is it preferred to that of Collard, yet excellent, the version of Martha Argerich, absolutely unforgettable.

These discs will repay repeated listening. At first hearing, they are unidiosyncratic and present the composer directly and very satisfyingly. But each time I listen, I find details which i'd missed before, and which other performers do not bring out. Collard's rubato, especially in the slow movement of the Second, is magical - whistful, melancholy, but not over-indulgent. At other times, the massive and technically frightening stretches of the Third are projected masterfully, as if the pianist has plenty of capacity in reserve. The orchestra sounds very well, and I'd not have realised this was not a recent recording (1978) as the detail and stereo separation is admirable. But these are not simply the sum of lots of small details, and Collard avoids pausing to admire the view as some pianists do - this is thrilling music making in broad spans of time

Brand New /sealed 2CD
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  • Seller location: Lower Hutt City, Wellington, NZ

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