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Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini / Variations

S. Rachmaninoff Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Price: $17.56 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 2007 $6.99  
Audio CD, 2004 $17.56  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 12, 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • ASIN: B0002W384G
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,107 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Introduction: Allegro Vivace
2. II. L'istesso Tempo/III. L'istesso Tempo/IV. Piu Vivo/V. Tempo Precedente/VI. L'istesso Tempo
3. VII. Meno Mosso, A Tempo Moderato
4. VIII. Tempo I/IX. L'istesso Tempo
5. X. Poco Marcato
6. XI. Moderato
7. XII. Tempo Di Minuetto
8. XIII. Allegro/XIV. L'istesso Tempo/XV Piu Vivo Scherzando
9. XVI. Allegretto
10. XVIII. Andante Cantabile
11. XIX. L'istesso Tempo/XX. Un Poco Piu Vivo/XXI. Un Poco Piu Vivo/XXII. Un Poco Piu Vivo (Alla Breve)
12. XXIII. L'istesso Tempo/XXIV. A Tempo Un Poco Meno Mosso
13. Theme: Andante
14. I. Poco Piu Mosso/II. L'istesso Tempo
15. III. Tempo Di Menuetto
16. IV. Andante
17. V. Allegro/VI. L'istesso Tempo/VII. Vivace
18. VIII. Adagio Misterioso
19. IX. Un Poco Piu Mosso/X. Allegro Scherzando/XI. Allegro Vivace/XII. L'istesso Tempo
20. XIII. Agitato/Intermezzo: A Tempo Rubato/XIV. Andante/XV. L'istesso Tempo
See all 34 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Lugansky favors a nimble, supple approach rather than a flashy bombastic style, although in the climaxes of all three works there's a steely-fingered assertiveness that reminds us of his status as a Prokofiev interpreter. Here he plays all three of Rachmaninov's piano works structured as "variations on a theme," the most famous, of course, being the composer's ever-popular Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, where he's joined by conductor Sakari Oramo and the fine Birmingham band. Despite the recorded competition, Lugansky is worth hearing for his individual approach, at times recalling Prokofiev's piano concertos, and in slow sections like the sumptuously haunting 16th and 17th variations, adopting a leaner version of poetic Romanticism. The Corelli Variations offer similarly strong contrasts; witness the slow, stately statement of the Andante opening and the thrusting, light touch in the fleet fifth Variation. In the Chopin Variations the slow early ones are ruminative, the faster ones feature fleet-fingered buoyancy that brings remarkable clarity to the runs of the 10th variation. An interesting program, worth hearing even for those who think they're tired of the familiar Paganini piece. --Dan Davis

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling June 23, 2008
Format:Audio CD
It was a brilliant idea to collect three of Rachmaninoff's variations pieces on one CD, regardless of how many are with orchestra The Paganini Rhapsody is a terrific performance. Lugansky handles the bravura moments very impressively, while Oramo's orchestra plays with verve and precision. Some writers have criticized Lugansky for being too reserved in the work's more emotive moments. I would say that there is a reticence to his playing, but he maintains a light and shade along with a beautiful feeling for the harmonic logic that renders his playing all of a piece, even in the more emotional moments. The solo works are given big, brawny performances, but always with logic and never any caprice. On the basis of this disc, Lugansky is clearly a major pianist whom we should be hearing more from. If you are looking for a version of the Paganini Rhapsody with more heart on its sleeve, I would recommend the classic Entremont/Ormandy rendition.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now Part of a Budget-Priced 9CD Box Set May 11, 2013
Format:Audio CD
For those who like Lugansky's playing (as I do) you might be interested to know that this CD with the Paganini Rhapsody plus the Variations on a Theme by Corelli and that on a Theme by Chopin, as well as the two CDs containing the four concertos are now part of a budget-priced 9CD box costing about the same as two CDs at full price. It is here: Nikolai Lugansky

Check it out.

Scott Morrison
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This disc, excellently recorded in 2003-04, completes Lugansky's excellent survey of Rachmaninov's works for piano and orchestra and his sets of variations all in one useful go. The orchestra under Oramo provide excellent support in the Paganini variations.

This whole set of discs has received glowing reviews in magazines and on the BBC music program. Some have suggested that Lugansky has achieved benchmark status which is a remarkable achievement in such a hotly contested field. Nevertheless, having got in my collection a considerable number of respected and famous recordings from the generations, I would be inclined to place Lugansky at the very top of the list of outstanding versions.

Lugansky brings a thoughtful frame of mind to the Paganini Variations plus his formidable technique. There are numerous instances of great sensitivity and equally numerous moments of fire. Lugansky has a tendency to favour the darker timbres and moods of his repertoire such as in his striking view of the Chopin Etudes fro example. This darker side enhances the Russian character of his playing and as such there are parallels with other great Russian pianists such as Richter. This is only hinted at in these variations but is much more apparent in the two sets of solo variations, in particular the late set of Corelli Variations written at about the same time as the Paganini set.

The Chopin Variations is an earlier work but already the Rachmaninov sound world is fully established even if the variations are not so compact and tightly argued as in the later Corelli set. Lugansky gives an impassioned account of both works which does not shy away from the enormous expressive range required. The performance of the Corelli set in particular takes on an epic quality.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great performance July 31, 2013
By Apples
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
When i ordered the CD, I didn't really look what was on the disc, I just wanted all 24 versions of Rachmaninoff variations on Paganini's theme.Imagine my surprise when I found it also contained all of his variations on themes by both Corelli and Chopin.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best yet, in my opinion August 4, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The best yet , in my opinion ! There is not a missing or wrong note ! The attention to detail by Composer and Performer is exquisite!
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