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Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 3


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Audio CD, November 4, 2003
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Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 3 + Piano Concertos Nos 2 & 4
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Editorial Reviews


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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.1 in F sharp minor Op.1 : I VivaceNikolai Lugansky12:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Rachmaninov : Piano Concerto No.1 in F sharp minor Op.1 : II AndanteNikolai Lugansky 6:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Rachmaninov : Piano Concerto No.1 in F sharp minor Op.1 : III Allegro vivaceNikolai Lugansky 7:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Rachmaninov : Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor Op.30 : I Allegro, ma non tantoNikolai Lugansky15:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Rachmaninov : Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor Op.30 : II Intermezzo - AdagioNikolai Lugansky10:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor Op.30 : III Finale - Alla breveNikolai Lugansky14:35$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Performer: Nikolai Lugansky
  • Orchestra: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Sakari Oramo
  • Composer: Sergey Rachmaninov
  • Audio CD (November 4, 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • ASIN: B00008CLIV
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #358,587 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By I. Giles TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 23, 2012
Format: Audio CD
This disc, along with the others in the series, has been the recipient of very opposing critical reviews. Essentially it did not appeal to the reviewer in the Gramophone who was far from welcoming. The BBC Music Magazine on the other hand liked the discs sufficiently to immediately make them their benchmark references at that time.

This underlines the very personal nature of reviewing, even within 'expert' magazines and therefore all reviews, including this one, should be read with that in mind.

Both magazines described the technical aspects of the piano playing, the orchestral accompaniment and the recording quality as being of very high quality. The divergence of opinion centred around the perceived emotional involvement or not of Lugansky. The Gramophone reviewer perceived him as being very cool and emotionally disengaged. The BBC magazine reviewer conversely found the playing to be completely emotionally engaged but in a rather cooler way than is often the case.

The issue therefore revolves around the concepts of coolness, being detached or being engaged and whether this perception communicates Rachmaninov's music to the listener sufficiently. It seems to me that this is as much about the reviewer as about Lugansky so I will add my own thoughts and observations on the matter as follows:

I own several CDs of Lugansky playing Rachmaninov and also the Chopin Eudes. I would agree that his playing style is on the cool side and would add that he often favours a darker palette than many when it comes to tonally or texturally balancing the notes that he is playing. This darker aspect is also reinforced by the way he brings out the weight in terms of the rhythmical aspects of the music being played. The Chopin etudes are the darkest set I have heard.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 6, 2005
Format: Audio CD
One of the aspects that appeals to this listener about Nikolai Lugansky's approach to the perennial favorite piano concerti of Sergei Rachmaninov is the commitment to the organic feeling of each work. So often these concerti are served up as early career, flamboyant exercises to introduce the young pianist du jour to already accepting audiences. And at times the imprint on the works imposed by the various pianists is what remains in the hall after the performance, not Rachmaninov.

Nikolai Lugansky takes more of the academic approach (not unlike the conducting of Boulez and Salonen among others) to restudy the tired works and hence rediscover the inherent magic. As demonstrated on this fine recording with Sakari Oramo and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Lugansky seems as familiar with the orchestral scoring as he is pliant with the piano role. The result is intelligent phrasing, knowing when to hold back and when to thunder forth. In both the lesser-known 1st and the infamous 3rd Lugansky finds the brains and the brawn and the lyricism that is meltingly beautiful. And what an unexpected pleasure to find a pianist paired with the same orchestra for the cycle of four concerti! A superb recording to add to the newer recording of the 2nd and 4th! Grady Harp, September 05
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Andrew M. Klein on June 5, 2009
Format: Audio CD
These are insightful, wonderful performances of Rachmaninov's concertos and the Paganini Variations by a very talented young Russian virtuoso who shows off a technique so facile as to be disarming -- even disturbing. (Aren't these supposed to be hard to play?) I disagree with Mr. Grabowsky here. The performances are not forgettable or played in a robotic fashion, a harsh remark. The Third and the others indeed sound as if they are being played too easily, which may account for the assessment that Lugansky is uninvolved in what he is doing. ("Clean fingering" doesn't do justice to what's shown here.) And I must admit that I, too, was a bit put off by his Third at first, which ought to be a terrible stuggle for anyone to play, but doesn't seem that way as Lugansky plays it. I had the same impression to a lesser degree about the First (an undeservedly neglected masterwork of Rachmaninov's youth, revised, as I recall, later -- but I am not going to look that up for this purpose), where the insane element of the credenza in the first movement seemed to fall short to me. A second and third listening to both persuaded me otherwise in both cases. This performance of the Third does not compare to Argerich's or the old Horowitz performance either, though I have not listened to that for a long time, but it is well thought out and the playing carefully reveals all of the intricate material that Rachmnaninov created here, delivered very much in the manner of the master himself in his own performances with Ormandy. To say that these performances are like Rachmaninov's own, which they are, can hardly be taken seriously as criticism. I will have to relisten to the latter to see if I agree about the "intensity" and "personality" comment, but I do not recall them that way.Read more ›
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