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Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 3 / Garrick Ohlsson, piano

Album Summary

>Rachmaninov, Sergey : Concerto for Piano no 3 in D minor, Op. 30
>Rachmaninov, Sergey : Symphonic Dances, for orchestra (or 2 pianos), Op. 45
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

This latest recording presented by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is the result of a long-standing friendship between acclaimed pianist Garrick Ohlsson and the Symphony. Mr. Ohlsson was the first soloist Robert ever worked with when he made his professional debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the two have shared many happy collaborations since. When considering his discography, Mr. Ohlsson saw the Rachmaninoff 3 as the one piece that has eluded him in recorded form. He approached Maestro Spano about recording the work, and Spano said, "Well, we have to do it." Maestro Spano took the opportunity as a chance to also record a signature Spano/ASO collaboration, Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances. The less-often recorded Symphonic Dances have a long history with the ASO, who has performed them both on tour and in Atlanta many times over the past ten years. Garrick Ohlssohn: Since his triumph as winner of the 1970 Chopin International Piano Competition, pianist Garrick Ohlsson has established himself worldwide as a musician of magisterial interpretive and technical prowess. Although he has long been regarded as one of the world's leading exponents of the music of Frédéric Chopin, Mr. Ohlsson commands an enormous repertoire, which ranges over the entire piano literature. A student of the late Claudio Arrau, Mr. Ohlsson has come to be noted for his masterly performances of the works of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, as well as the Romantic repertoire. His concerto repertoire alone is unusually wide and eclectic - ranging from Haydn and Mozart to works of the 21st century - and to date he has at his command more than 80 concertos.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Atlanta Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, G (06/03/2011-06/04/2011); Atlanta Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, G (09/26/2009).



Reviews

Fine Rachmaninov playing from pianist & orchestra
While the 3rd Piano Concerto, with its big tunes and over-the-top virtuosity, is the more popular work on this new disc from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's own label, the greater work is the op. 45 Symphonic Dances. It requires as much virtuosity from the orchestra as the Concerto needs from the pianist. That's a tall order, but Robert Spano has his musicians hitting on all cylinders, with a tightly-disciplined and well-prepared reading of this important 20th century score. Spano's version is perhaps a bit more careful than other famous recordings, or white-hot live performances, fondly remembered, by favourite conductors. But I think it makes an excellent case for a masterpiece by a composer who doesn't have the reputation he once did. In this case, dialing things up to '11' in the Spinal Tap manner doesn't necessarily provide any gains. A well-balanced recording, with some deficiencies noted in B. Guerrero's review above, gives us a clear feel for the back-bone of the work as well as its surface sheen.

Even better, the Atlanta engineers have attained the perfect balance between piano and orchestra, allowing both the delicacy and the power of Garrick Ohlsson's playing to come through in the 3rd Piano Concerto. This disc is a triumph of virtuosity, musicality, and technology. Kudos to Ohlsson and Spano, and the musical & technical team in Atlanta!
Submitted on 01/30/12 by Dean Frey 
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Works Details

>Rachmaninov, Sergey : Concerto for Piano no 3 in D minor, Op. 30
  • Performer: Garrick Ohlsson (Piano)
  • Conductor: Robert Spano
  • Ensemble: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Atlanta Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, GA (06/03/2011-06/04/2011); Atlanta Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, GA (09/26/2009)
  • Running Time: 42 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1909

>Rachmaninov, Sergey : Symphonic Dances, for orchestra (or 2 pianos), Op. 45
  • Conductor: Robert Spano
  • Ensemble: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Atlanta Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, GA (06/03/2011-06/04/2011); Atlanta Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, GA (09/26/2009)
  • Running Time: 37 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1940