Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto Nos. 2 & 3

Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto Nos. 2 & 3
Composer Sergei Rachmaninoff
Artist Anna Federova piano
Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie
Laërcio Diniz & Gerard Oskamp conductors
Format 1 CD
Cat. number 97298
EAN code 5028421972985
Release April 2024

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About this release

Early recordings by one of today’s pre-eminent interpreters of Rachmaninoff.
The Ukrainian pianist Anna Fedorova is renowned for her playing of Rachmaninoff, and in particular the four concertos which she has performed across the world. She made these recordings in 2014, at a relatively early stage in her career, but they capture the rhythmic flexibility and feeling for phrase and emotion which gives her interpretation of this music its particular signature.

The sound of bells recurs throughout Rachmaninov’s output, including the Second Concerto, even in the intimate exchanges of the finale. ‘Those passages can convey tremendous mystery,’ Fedorova explained to Peter Quantrill in a Pianist magazine interview, ‘if they are played in a slightly detached fashion. I’m looking for a feeling of being slightly lost – not in the notes of the music, but in the mood it creates. The sound should be even, and so should the pulse, but you can’t find the ground under your feet. That’s the atmosphere I want.’
In these familiar works, Fedorova searches for simplicity over sentimentality, because ‘simplicity can be more moving. Or if you have a special harmonic moment in a long phrase, you lead into it without too many distractions on the way. Then the surprise – the resolution or the twist – is all the more special. You have to train yourself to do this.’ On the page, both works bely their strong melodic flow with densely worked, filigree exchanges between piano and orchestra which demand as much analytical and technical grasp of the notes as the concertos of Brahms.

Rachmaninoff himself famously let his emotions speak through his music, which can be all the more moving for its restraint and close observance to the score, and Fedorova has spent decades with these concertos, absorbing them within her musical bloodstream so that their expressions of passion and nostalgia come as second nature to her.

- Sergei Rachmaninoff's (1873-1943) Piano Concerto Nos. 2 and 3 stand as majestic pillars in the concert repertoire. The Piano Concerto No. 2, composed in 1900, embodies a harmonious blend of melancholy and triumph, with its lush melodies and virtuosic piano passages. Rachmaninoff's third concerto, created in 1909, showcases his unparalleled prowess as a pianist and composer. Renowned for its demanding technicality, the piece unfolds in a cascade of passionate themes and rich orchestration. Both concertos are timeless masterpieces that navigate the emotional depth of Romanticism, leaving an indelible mark on the classical repertoire and enchanting audiences with their enduring brilliance.
- “Anna Fedorova’s beautiful sound and natural freedom in making music with total technical security makes for one of the finest Chopin performances I have heard in a long, long time.” - Menahem Pressler, September 2022
- From an early age, the Ukrainian pianist Anna Fedorova showed an innate musical maturity and amazing technical abilities. Her live recording of Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Piano Concerto has over 41 million views on YouTube and is highly acclaimed by critics and world-renowned musicians. She regularly performs at the world’s most prestigious concert halls such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, New York's Carnegie Hall & Lincoln Center, Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Tonhalle Zürich, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo, and London’s Barbican Centre & Royal Albert Hall.
- The orchestra in both concertos is the excellent Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie.


Track list

Disk 1

  1. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18: I. Moderato
  2. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18: II. Adagio sostenuto
  3. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18: III. Allegro scherzando
  4. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 30: I. Allegro ma non tanto
  5. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 30: II. Intermezzo. Adagio
  6. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 30: III. Finale. Alla breve