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Piano Concerto 2 / Paganini Rhapsody

Lang Lang Audio CD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

Price: $14.43 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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MP3 Music, 29 Songs, 2005 $11.49  
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.2 In C Minor, Op.18 - 1. Moderato (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev11:44$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.2 In C Minor, Op.18 - 2. Adagio sostenuto (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev12:27$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.2 In C Minor, Op.18 - 3. Allegro scherzando (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev12:11$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Introduction (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev0:08$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Variation 1 (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev0:20$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Theme (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev0:20$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Variation 2 (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev0:20$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Variation 3 (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev0:26$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Variation 4 (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev0:29$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Variation 5 (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev0:30$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Variation 6 (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev 1:07$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Variation 7 (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev 1:12$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Variation 8 (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev0:35$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen14. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Variation 9 (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev0:32$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen15. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Variation 10 (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev0:56$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen16. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Variation 11 (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev 1:44$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen17. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Variation 12 (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev 1:13$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen18. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Variation 13 (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev0:28$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen19. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Variation 14 (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev0:43$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen20. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Variation 15 (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev 1:11$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen21. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Variation 16 (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev 1:30$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen22. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Variation 17 (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev 1:58$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen23. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Variation 18 (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev 2:48$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen24. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Variation 19 (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev0:26$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen25. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Variation 20 (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev0:35$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen26. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Variation 21 (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev0:25$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen27. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Variation 22 (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev 1:39$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen28. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Variation 23 (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev0:51$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen29. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme By Paganini, Op.43 - Variation 24 (Live at Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall / 2004)Valery Gergiev 1:22$1.29  Buy MP3 


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Heralded as the “hottest artist on the classical music planet” by the New York Times, 27- year-old Lang Lang has played sold out recitals and concerts in every major city in the world and is the first Chinese pianist to be engaged by the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic and all the top American orchestras. He began playing the piano at the age of three and had already won ... Read more in Amazon's Lang Lang Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 8, 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B0006SSOOK
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,522 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Pairing stars like Lang Lang and Valery Gergiev in two of Rachmaninov's most-popular works should yield a success, but it doesn't. In the Piano Concerto No. 2, Lang Lang's soggy rhythms and heavy phrasing are magnified by engineering that spotlights his instrument, even when the piano just doodles when the orchestra should shine. Gergiev also indulges in exaggerated phrasing and inadvisable pauses and hesitations that staunch the music's flow. His orchestra plays more like a provincial band than a world-class ensemble. Try the opening section of the Adagio movement, which should be magical but disintegrates from aimless piano playing, an inept clarinet solo, and total absence of inner tension. The Paganini Rhapsody also disappoints, Despite individual variations that come off well, Lang Lang's mannerisms and the indifferent band fail to hold the work together. More satisfying are CDs of these pieces by Stephen Hough on Hyperion, Zoltan Kocsis on Philips, and past worthies like Richter, Ashkenazy, and Rubinstein, among others. But the performers' many admirers may be willing to overlook their shortcomings. --Dan Davis

Product Description


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ummmmmmmmmm. June 18, 2012
Format:Audio CD
First off: this is not an anonymous review. You can see my name. You know I'm Chinese. But don't let that get you: I refuse to defend ANY artist on grounds of shared ethnic identity, and I hope that most other reviewers do the same. But judging by the other vitriolic rhetoric going 'round here, I think my three stars is a little lenient, but ***I am not qualified to lower it any more than I already have***, since I for the most part can find nothing terribly wrong to pick at. I am not a thoroughly trained musician, and definitely not a Rachmaninoff specialist; I can only offer a (rather out-of-the-loop) layman's point of view on this.

Now that I'm done qualifying myself, let's start with the bad news.

THE BAD

1. I get the feeling that the piano (and only to a slightly less extent, the orchestra) are both mic'd very closely (the microphones are placed very close to the sources of sound). The same effect appears on his album of Tchaikovsky's and Mendelssohn's piano concerti. I personally dislike this sort of tone but your mileage will vary; some might even prefer this unusually crystal-clear sound. If I close my eyes I can pretend that I've stuck my head into the piano and the orchestra's ringed around me in an auditory violation of my person. (Keep your heads out of the gutter, people. Amazon is a safe place.)

2. Lang Lang's dynamic range seems a little forced at times. His pianissimos have impact all right, and all the more so when they come immediately after strong fortes/fortissimos; but that's just not good practice, in my opinion. It's like (in battle) alternating quickly between a line of heavy artillery and one skinny soldier with a watergun; we understand the effect, but it's a little baffling.
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31 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
What prompted me to get this CD issued more than 2 years ago?
Not Lang Lang, not Valery Gergiev. Not even Sergei Rachmaninoff. It is the adverse comments by many reviewers, some at nonsensical level, that prompted me to listen to this recording.
Granted, this is nothing like the classic recording of Ashkenazy with the London Philharmonic under Previn, nor Richter's. My most familiar version being this classic version of the 1970's, nothing would have been able to convince me that a diversified interpretation could actually surpass the classic one that I have grown used to.
Despite this preoccupation, however, Lang Lang and Gergiev (and more particularly Gergiev in this recording), managed to bring forth a more lyrical and almost elegant rendition of a piece like the No. 2 Concerto that was hitherto interpreted mostly as a heroic and solemn piece.
The orchestra and the soloist worked well together, whether you like their rendition or not (like Dan Davies of Amazon, who dislikes it). The musical lines are longer, the rhythm generally slower than Ashkenazy's. Musicality abound, even though you may claim that Lang Lang's playing in the slower movements borders on dreamy almost to the point of falling off.
The only issue that may be mentioned of this recording is the sound. Dan Davies alludes this to the performers. I can only agree in part, since apparently at least, someone in DG must have decided to move the mics closer to the pianoforte during the live recording at the Martti Talvela Hall. The result is grossly inadequate orchestral backing for the solo parts. This has the unfortunate result of distorting the music. Listen to the first movement, from 8:00 onwards. The solo parts are completely shorn of the tutti backing, some thing that isn't on the score, to say the least.
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29 of 40 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Over the top and self-indulgent February 13, 2007
Format:Audio CD
For all of the hype he has received, Lang Lang has (at best) a spotty track record when it comes to recorded performances. Perhaps he is a more compelling performer in a live concert setting, but we provincials wouldn't know about that & are forced to rely on the recorded medium. It appears that Lang Lang is beginning to believe the hyperbole of his own press & has decided to abandon any pretence of having depth & nuance. All we have here is self-indulgence & caricature.

Gergiev, who seems to be gravitating towards more extreme tempi & dynamics every time I hear newer recordings of his, does nothing to rein in Lang Lang and simply allows him to run amok. The result is a ridiculous & unlistenable recording. Don't buy into the hype --- this sucks.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pianistic narcissism at its worst. October 15, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I bought this because of the negative reviews here. They were enraged--that means their emotions were engaged, I thought. They complained that Lang Lang didn't sound like Askenazy--good, I thought, who wants a me-too performance. None of them used the worst criticism of all: boring.

Well, I failed in my interpretation of the negative reviews. Lang Lang turned in the worst performance of the Paganini Rhapsody I have ever heard. The whole thing simply screams, "Hey, lookit me, I'm playing the pianna!". If Paris Hilton had pianistic abilities, I would imagine she'd make a recording exactly like this. It all falls to pieces long before the famous 18th variation, and unlike other mediocre performances, does not come back together for the (normally) exciting final variations. I was not enraged. I did not compare him to other pianists. I was just very bored.

The concerto performance doesn't fall to pieces, it starts out in pieces and never comes together. Even Lang Lang sounds bored, except for the parts where he gets to bang really hard on the piano.

My gold standard for the Paganini Rhapsody is the old Soviet recording by Zak and Kondrashin, available in very bad sound on a CD--but very good sound can be coaxed out of the old Monitor LP of the same recording (Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Khachaturian: Piano Concerto; Zak, Kondrashin, Oborin, Khachaturian). Even though it is rare, it is worth getting. Neither quality applies to Lang Lang's CD.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Constantly On My Playlist.
I'm not a classical music guru by an stretch of the imagination. I enjoy listening, but I can't exactly comment on the finer features, discern nuances, or speak the lingo. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jacob Hantla
5.0 out of 5 stars Lang Lang plays Rachmaninov
Lang Lang is a brilliant pianists .i have never heard this concerto #2 played more sensitively. I have not listened to the Paganini.
Published 5 months ago by kiwi
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent recording!
I cannot believe some of the reviews I have read on here, First off, the critism of iTunes breaking up the Paganini Rhapsody, look at the original cd, that is the way DG broke it... Read more
Published 7 months ago by WESLEY L. DANGLER
3.0 out of 5 stars Where's The Passion
I do like Rachmaninov and so looked forward to listening to this cd. However I was disappointed. I felt no passion or emotion in Lang Lang's playing; it was very technically... Read more
Published 10 months ago by marion croft
5.0 out of 5 stars Rachmaninov
Really wonderful to listen to Lang Lang playing with such passion and listen to classical music is nourishing especially played by Lang Lang
Published 10 months ago by Anne C. Gale
5.0 out of 5 stars I like Lang Lang
What a fascinating musician. Fun to hear and watch (Glenn Gould). I will try yo go to as many of his live concerts a I possibly can in the future. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Steve Manion
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
I recently watched Lang Lang's performance of Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 on Youtube, (the one with Berlin Philharmonic, in December 2009). Read more
Published 17 months ago by L. Wang
4.0 out of 5 stars stevei
I found this CD delightful. Mr. Langs interpreation of the music is, in my opinion, inspired. His pace is a joy to listen to. Read more
Published 18 months ago by stevei
4.0 out of 5 stars Gergiev is a Rachmaninov interpreter like no other, but he and Lang...
Gergiev is probably our greatest Russian conductor, producing revelatory Rachmaninov readings on the LSO Live label. Read more
Published on April 10, 2012 by Andrew R. Barnard
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb.
What am I not hearing? This is (for me) the definitive version of this concerto. Gergiev is a passionate conductor and Lang Lang is brilliant. Read more
Published on June 14, 2011 by Howard B. Weiner
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