There are more than 100 recordings of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 available currently. Just last year Alexandre Tharaud’s superb interpretation with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra won critical acclaim and was shortlisted for a Grammophone Award. Do we need another version of this most passionate and beloved concerto? Well, in the case of this new, bargain price, release from Naxos the answer is a most resounding ‘Yes’.
The young Israeli pianist Boris Giltburg is rapidly establishing a reputation as a fine interpreter of Rachmaninov’s music. Katherine Cooper recently noted that he approaches Rachmaninov’s music in ‘an entirely idiomatic yet intensely personal’ way that provides fresh perspectives on some of these over-recorded works.
For the concerto, Giltburg is joined by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Mexican conductor, Carlos Miguel Prieto. Prieto is currently the Music Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería.
The present disc also brings us a performance of Rachmaninov’s Études-Tableaux, Op. 33 and two miniatures by Kreisler and Behr in arrangements by Rachmaninov. These shorter works add greatly to the appeal of this release as Giltburg conveys their varying moods, from tender to passionate, most effectively.
So if you are looking for a budget priced recording of Rachmaninov’s second concerto coupled with some well played miniatures for solo piano then look no further.
Excellent sound quality from the Naxos engineers.