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Vocalises Rachmaninov Dessay Sextet


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2013 Bach, Rameau, Handel, Gluck, HaydnOtto Klemperer Record Label
2013 Bach: Concerto AdagioAndrei Gavrilov / Frank Peter Zimmermann Record Label
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2013 Barcarole: Favourite Orchestral PiecesNeville Marriner Record Label
2013 Beethoven, Brahms: The Complete SymphoniesWolfgang Sawallisch Record Label
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2013 Frühstück mit AmadeusManuel Barrueco / Rudolf Buchbinder / Sabine Meyer / Christian Zacharias Record Label
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2013 Martha Argerich and Friends: Live from Lugano 2012Martha Argerich Record Label
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2013 Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Liszt, Brahms: ConcertosOtto Klemperer Record Label
2013 Mozart: KrönungsmesseUlla Groenewold / Patrizia Kwella / Christoph Prégardien / Franz-Josef Selig Record Label
2013 Mozart: Piano Concertos 22 & 27Rudolf Buchbinder / Neville Marriner Record Label
2013 Musik in alten Städten & Residenzen Record Label
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2013 Musik in alten Städten und Residenzen: Potsdam Record Label
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2013 PianoTadeusz Domanowski Record Label
2013 Puccini: La BohèmeLucia Popp Record Label
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2013 Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 1; Prince RostislavVasily Petrenko Record Label
2013 RavelSamson François Record Label
2013 Ravel, ScriabinHJ Lim Record Label
2013 Reinhard Keiser: Die großmütige TomyrisHans-Martin Linde Record Label
2013 René Kollo Sings Wagner & StraussBerlin State Opera Orchestra / René Kollo / Christian Thielemann Record Label
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2013 Rossini: Petite Messe SolennelleAntonio Pappano Record Label
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2013 Scarlatti: 16 Sonatas, Vol. 2Mikhail Pletnev Record Label
2013 Schubert: Songs of Departure and VoyageMichael Gees / Christoph Prégardien Record Label
2013 Sibelius: Complete SymphoniesPaavo Berglund / Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Record Label
2013 SojournXuefei Yang Record Label
2013 Strauss: Vier Letzte Lieder; Wolf: LiederAndré Previn / Anneliese Rothenberger Record Label
2013 Stravinsky: Le Sacre du printemps; Symphonies of Wind Instruments; Apollon musagèteBerlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Simon Rattle Record Label
2013 Stravinsky: The Rite of SpringImani Winds Record Label
2013 The Great EMI RecordingsJanet Baker Record Label

What an apt coupling this is. The two composers were close friends; Medtner’s Second Concerto, completed in the summer of 1922, is dedicated to Rachmaninov, whose Fourth Concerto (in the course of completion at the same time) is dedicated to Medtner…whose C minor Concerto makes several fleeting references to Rachmaninov’s Second and Third Concertos.

Medtner’s Op 50 is an extraordinarily tricky assignment for both pianist and conductor but both here and in the Rachmaninov there is a palpable and invigorating rapport between Hamelin and Jurowski. The former is presented with a relentless thicket of notes and few passages of respite; without sight of a score or the pianist, the listener can have little idea of just how difficult the piano part is. The latter has to deal with the tricky coordination of constantly fluctuating rhythms, figurations and tempos with twists and turns that come faster than a Scalextric track, such is the profusion of Medtner’s ideas.

Few can illuminate or clarify complex textures quite as well as Marc-André Hamelin and no pianist past or present understands Medtner’s idiom better (his recording of the complete sonatas is likely to remain the benchmark). Obviously in vastly superior sound, this is a recording that stands beside the composer’s classic account (with the Philharmonia under Issay Dobrowen in 1947 which, however, and unlike Hamelin’s, takes Medtner’s own suggested cut of 45 bars in the cadenza) and is better recorded than Nikolai Demidenko’s compelling 1991 performance on the same label and with the same producer (4/92), coupled with Medtner’s less approachable Third Concerto.

As to Hamelin’s Rach Three, there are parts that quite swept me away and parts that felt slightly disengaged and routine. Take the very opening, played at a laidback minim=56 (as opposed to the composer’s urgent 72). It sounds rather dour. While some may feel the piano is a tad too dominant in the balance, it allows one unusually to hear the intricate writing in scrupulously observed detail. If Hamelin can occasionally resemble someone who likes a drink but is determined to remain sober, there are passages aplenty where he digs deep for a reading of powerful emotion. Hear how he handles the great central climax of the first movement and its cadenza (the shorter of the two), and with what relish the seasoned chamber musician responds to the woodwind soloists in the Intermezzo. The finale storms home in suitably triumphant fashion. Nevertheless, the concerto’s overall timing of 43'11" is surprisingly slow, closer to the young Ashkenazy with Fistoulari than to Janis with Munch or Dorati, Wild with Horenstein and Hough with Litton, all round about the 35'00" to 37'00" mark. The disc has a playing time of 82'09".

-- Jeremy Nicholas, Gramophone

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Nikolai Medtner (5 January 1880 [O.S. 24 December 1879] – 13 November 1951) was a Russian composer and pianist. A younger contemporary of Rachmaninoff and \Scriabin, he wrote a substantial number of compositions, all of which include the piano. His works include fourteen piano sonatas, three violin sonatas, three piano concerti, a piano quintet, two works for two pianos, many shorter piano pieces, a few shorter works for violin and piano, and 108 songs including two substantial works for vocalise. Despite his conservative musical tastes, Medtner's compositions and his pianism were highly regarded by his contemporaries.


Sergei Rachmaninov (1 April [O.S. 20 March] 1873 – 28 March 1943) was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. He is widely considered as one of the finest pianists of his day and, as a composer, one of the last great representatives of Romanticism in Russian classical music. Some of his works are among the most popular in the romantic repertoire. His style is notable for its song-like melodicism, expressiveness and his use of rich orchestral colors. The piano is featured prominently in Rachmaninoff's compositional output, and through his own skills as a performer he explored the expressive possibilities of the instrument.


Marc-André Hamelin (born September 5, 1961 in Montreal, Quebec) is a Canadian virtuoso pianist and composer. Hamelin is recognized worldwide for the originality and technical brilliance of his performances of the classic repertoire. He has made recordings of a wide variety of composers with the Hyperion label. He is well known for his attention to lesser-known composers especially of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and for performing works by pianist-composers. Hamelin has also composed several works, including a set of piano études in all of the minor keys.


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