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Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3 & Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini – The Mariinsky Label

RACHMANINOV Piano Concerto No 3 & Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

Artistique 10 Technique 10
'What a pianist! Denis Matsuev is a phenomenon. Here he proves that he can associate his virtuosity with a real sense of style and aesthetic' ClassicsToday
Essential Work BBC Music Magazine

  • Denis Matsuev pianist

    Valery Gergiev conductor
    Mariinsky Orchestra

  • Total duration 63m15s

    Catalogue number MAR0505
    UPC 822231850526

    James Mallinson producer
    Dirk Sobotka engineering, editing & mixing
    Mark Donahue engineering, mixing & mastering
    John Newton engineering

    Recorded February 2009, at the Mariinsky Concert Hall, St Petersburg

    Includes multi-channel 5.1 and stereo mixes.
    Notes in English / en Francais / auf Deutsch / на русском языке

  • Essential Work BBC Music Magazine

    Artistique 10 Technique 10
    'What a pianist! Denis Matsuev is a phenomenon. Here he proves that he can associated his virtuosity with a real sense of style and aesthetic'

    'Here, for once, is the level of artistry that the work needs. Denis Matsuev's phenomenal deftness is such that he can launch into the finale at an eyebrow-raising speed which he then has no trouble sustaining. And for all his seemingly endless reserves of technical power, he never makes an ugly sound... The Paganini Rhapsody is another memorable experience, with Matsuev and Gergiev darting unerringly between the music's extremes of fantastical virtuosity and tight-reined lyricism.'
    BBC Music Magazine

    'As one might expect from someone hailed as Horowitz's successor, Matsuev holds that most titanic of piano concertos in a passionate embrace, lavish with his rubato, devastatingly certain in his articulation, sensitive to colour and balance, aware of how to pace and thus make coherent the architecture of this massive work. Importantly, for all his physical power and energy, he never makes a hard sound. There's commensurately sympathetic playing from the Mariinsky, who also match Matsuev's deft, vibrant musicianship in the brittler Rhapsody.' Sunday Times

    'Denis Matsuev is an amazing pianist. He shapes the Third Concerto's fistfuls of notes with consummate mastery. The work's opening theme has an easy elegance that's very beguiling, and Matsuev shapes the more massive of the two cadenza alternatives with great power. In the finale, the opening theme never sounds merely scrambled, and the massive chordal second subject builds in huge crescendos, but Matsuev never bangs or loses control. With the Paganini Rhapsody, each variation has shape and character, and the closing few really do offer a clinic in virtuoso keyboard artistry. The variation in triplets right before the famous 18th is particularly noteworthy: very ominous, louder, and darker than usual.'


Denis Matsuev, Valery Gergiev, Mariinsky Orchestra
The Mariinsky label’s fourth release features acclaimed Russian pianist Denis Matsuev alongside Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra for recordings of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 3 and his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.

Since winning the 11th International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1998 Matsuev has established a reputation as one of Russia’s greatest and most dynamic pianists. Over recent years he has begun to perform regularly on the international scene and has recorded for BMG Russia. He has appeared with many of the world’s leading orchestras and gave his first Carnegie Hall recital in 2007.

Matsuev is renowned for his interpretations of music by Russian composers and has collaborated with the Serge Rachmaninoff Foundation. He was chosen by the Foundation to perform and record unknown pieces of Rachmaninov on the composer’s own piano at the Rachmaninov house on the Villa Senar estate, Lucerne.

This recording was made possible through the generous support of Mr. Andrei Cheglakov.

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