RACHMANINOV: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18; Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 30 – Boris Berezowsky, piano/ Orchestre Philharmonique de l’Oural/ Dmitri Liss – Mirare

by | Mar 25, 2006 | Classical CD Reviews | 0 comments

RACHMANINOV: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18; Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 30 – Boris Berezowsky, piano/ Orchestre Philharmonique de l’Oural/ Dmitri Liss – Mirare MIR 008 (Distr. by Harmonia mundi),  70:25 ****:

Taped August 2005 at the Arsenal in Metz, France – a redesigned 19th Century armory, this recording benefits from architect Ricardo Bofill’s improved (1989) acoustic space that heightens the pungency of the music. These concertos, too well familiar to have to review their merits or inventive deficiencies, certainly fill the space. The lovely flute solo in the Third; Full Moon and Empty Arms in the Second; it’s all there. Former Gold Medalist at the Tchaikovsky Competition Boris Berezowsky (b. 1969) has many times proved his digital prowess in recordings, from the Chopin Etudes and Liszt Transcendental Etudes for WEA to his Tchaikovsky Piano Trio for the same label. 

Now, intent to record solo and concerted works by Rachmaninov, Berezowsky teams up with conductor Dmitri Liss (b. 1960), a pupil of Dmitri Kitayenko. Berezowsky plays the full version of the D Minor Concerto, swallowing the massive cadenza in one gulp; and this rendition rivals my old favorite, the Mogilevsky/ Kondrashin version that once graced an EMI LP. Some very nice work in the alla breve section finale, calling for fine-tuned syncopations and pizzicati in this talented orchestra, which deserves at least a footnote in the liner notes. Everything about these two concertos’ realizations is mounted on an epic scale, no small gestures. Yet the pastiche of sound, the arpeggios and fierce agogics, remain silky smooth and very tender. Should anyone actually lack these potboilers, I suppose this disc would more than introduce the initiate to the mysteries and nostalgic convulsions which define Rachmaninov’s music.

— Gary Lemco

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