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Rachmaninov Plays Rachmaninov--Ampico Recordings (1919-29)

Sergei Rachmaninov Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Price: $13.05 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 18 Songs, 1990 $9.49  
Audio CD, 1990 $13.05  

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.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Rachmaninov: Elegie in E flat minor, Op.3, No.1 4:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Rachmaninov: Prélude in C sharp minor, Op.3, No.2 3:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Rachmaninov: Melodie in E, Op.3, No.3 3:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Rachmaninov: Polichinelle in F sharp minor, Op.3, No.4 3:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Rachmaninov: Serenade in B flat minor, Op.3, No.5 3:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Rachmaninov: Bacarolle in G minor, Op.10, No.3 3:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Rachmaninov: Humoresque in G, Op.10, No.5 3:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Rachmaninov: Prelude in G minor, Op.23, No.5 4:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Rachmaninov: Etude-Tableau in B minor, Op.39, No.4 3:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Rachmaninov: Etude-Tableau in A minor, Op.39, No.6 2:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Rachmaninov: Siren - Lilacs, Op.21, No.5 2:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Behr: Polka de W.R. 3:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Mussorgsky: Hopak 1:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Schubert: Die schöne Müllerin, D.795 - 2. Wohin? 2:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Rimsky-Korsakov: The Tale of Tsar Saltan - The Flight of the Bumble-Bee 1:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Anonymous: The Star-Spangled Banner 1:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Kreisler: Liebesleid 3:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Kreisler: Liebesfreud 5:54$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Rachmaninov Plays Rachmaninov--Ampico Recordings (1919-29) + Rachmaninoff Plays Rachmaninoff: The 4 Piano Concertos + A Window in Time: Rachmaninoff Performs His Solo Piano Works
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 30, 1990)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B0000041WS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,738 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rachmaninov plays Estonia piano May 16, 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is one of two recordings featuring Rachmaninov's Ampico rolls recorded on a modern piano. This one features an Estonia concert grand circa 1976, and the other features a Bosendorfer. For pianists this is a unique opportunity to hear the same performance on two pianos. How much difference does the piano make? Does the Ampico roll really capture the soul of Rachmaninov's playing? You'll be able to decide for yourself, I would say the answer to both questions is yes. As an owner of a newer Estonia piano, and as someone who plays Rachmaninov on that piano, this recording was a fabulous find; for other pianists it might provide some insight into the love many of the great Russian pianists of the 20th century had for Estonia pianos.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love at First Listen January 19, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
No words can describe the feeling of hearing Rachmaninov play his own compositions. He was known for his piano performances as much as his writing. Even though the album is not the best quality sound or containing the best versions of his well known songs, I am relieved that he was able to be recorded in his time. The man may be gone, but his sound will live forever. The cuts in the musical score that he made, I see as Rachmaninov's own whim, his split-second decisions, or his doubts. What a wonder to see him as human... I think these recordings should be put in Earth's time capsule. Also, his rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" is fascinating. He lends his Russian soul to it that gives new meaning to the anthem.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Amazing November 4, 2008
Format:Audio CD
Wow. If you're thinking about buying this, do yourself a favor, and do. Not only is his playing beautiful, but there's nothing like hearing how he "plays" with the timing and dynamics (to encourage you to do it yourself). And it's not expensive here, and it's not easy to find.

Seriously: this is about the same price as a 3-month old hip-hop CD that's moved to discount in the record store, and no-one's going to want to listen to in 2 years.

Forget about the technical stuff: when Rechmaninov himself heard this played back, he was very pleased that it sounded like his playing. You will be, too. If you didn't know all about Ampico, you'd be wondering how they processed it to make an old recording sound so good.

Listening to this on a (roughly) $4,000 stereo didn't show any terribly noticeable technical flaws in the recording; I think those who think it sounds "mechanical" are either not crazy about Rachmaninov's fingering technique (his "diction" is sometimes rather pronounced), or else it's the power of suggestion.

If you play it for someone without telling them how it was made, they'll probably be very impressed. I have recordings of pianos that sound (slightly) better, but not that I'd rather listen to.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The way it should be played... December 18, 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Many people forget that Rachmaninov was a great pianist as well as a great composer... this album will serve as a reminder. This recording was made from a unique piano-roll system which provides amazing insight into his technical ability and musicality. Especially stunning are "Flight of the Bumblebee" and his own transcription of Kreisler's "Liebesfreud". A must-have for lovers of great piano music.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rachmaninoff Live! December 7, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
"Gentlemen, I have just heard myself play." These are the words of the great composer and pianist himself upon hearing one of these piano rolls played back. These recordings are not just the plain notes that you might have heard while pumping the pedals of an old player piano. The ingenious technology employed by Ampico in the early years of the twentieth century was able to capture every nuance and reproduce the fortissimo bass notes in a way that would rival the best digital recordings of today and certainly surpasses the limited dynamic range of phonograph recordings of that era.

Rachmaninoff is one of the few giants of musical composition who left a legacy of his own recordings, and we are most fortunate for that. His exquisite interpretation and complete mastery of the keyboard are apparent in these recodings from a specially adapted Estonia 9-foot concert grand piano. Played back on a quality music listening system, it is almost as if you are hearing an extraordinary performance live.

Obviously, I could not recommend this recording more highly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Rachmaninov Plays Rachmaninov--Ampico Recordings (1919-29) is a 1979 Decca Record Company recording starring Rachmaninov as he plays Rachmaninov. Denis Hall has written the music notes. One soon realizes that Rachmaninov was not only a great composer but also an amazing pianist. One feels the passion that he had for his own compositions and it is a magnificent opportunity to listen to the composer as he plays his own works. Highly recommended indeed. 5/5.
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