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Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2

Audio Samples

>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini
>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Concerto for Piano no 2 in C minor, Op. 18

Album Summary

>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini
>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Concerto for Piano no 2 in C minor, Op. 18
Performer Conductor Ensemble
  • >
Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Yuja Wang joins the legendary maestro on her first orchestral album. To the challenging Rachmaninov Piano Concerto no. 2, she adds the daunting Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Yuja Wang and Claudio Abbado kindle the Mahler Chamber orchestra into blazes of beauty.

"Whereas many pianists try to dominate this set of variations, she worked with it. This approach simply gave more punch to the places in which the piano should jump out of the texture." -Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"It might be hard to believe, considering the accolades that Chinese-born pianist Yuja Wang has already racked up (including being named as Gramophone's Young Artist of the Year in 2009), that this is just Wang's first recording with orchestra. Made live with Claudio Abbado and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, it's all Rachmaninov: the Piano Concerto No. 2 along with his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. (Indeed, that irrepressibly catchy tune from Paganini's 24th Caprice has already become something of an idee fixe for the young artist: Wang's already recorded Brahms' 28 solo variations on the same theme on her 2010 album "Transformation.") Wang seems to feel a particular kinship with the Russians--previous solo recording forays have been into the works of composers like Stravinsky and Scriabin--and even with her slender frame she is, thank you very much, more than capable of bringing down the house with muscular heft, at least in between all the sparks ignited by her lightning-fast fingers and astounding technique. (The Paganini alone gives Wang ample opportunity to show off her famously flying fingers, particularly in the super-virtuosic Variation XXIV.) Refreshingly, the young Wang comes to both works with a maturity and a sense of control, and a sense of real collaboration with the enthusiastic and enraptured young players of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (with Claudio Abbado creating real shape to this sweeping music), that lifts these performances out of the realm of the mundane. Even listeners who think they know the Rachmaninov recording canon backwards and forwards should check out Wang: this is highly recommended." -Anastasia Tsioulcas, WQXR

"She tackles the popular "Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No 2" with an ease that betrays her deep familiarity with the material; but it's the confident way she deals with the challenging "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini"...that most impresses here...It's all hand-led with industrious grace by Wang." -The Independent

"lots of filigree play and brilliantly clear articulation" -The Times

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Ferrara, Teatro Communale di Ferrara (04/2010).



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Works Details

>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini
  • Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
  • Conductor: Claudio Abbado
  • Running Time: 18 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1934

>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Concerto for Piano no 2 in C minor, Op. 18
  • Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
  • Conductor: Claudio Abbado
  • Running Time: 33 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1900-1901