Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 2, Prokofiev Piano Concerto No 2 (2017)

Prokofiev, Rachmaninov

Denis Matsuev, Mariinsky Orchestra

Valery Gergiev

Born less than 20 years apart, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev were two of the greatest composer-pianists of the 20th Century and their instrument played a central role in many of their greatest works. In this recording, virtuoso pianist Denis Matsuev contrasts their second piano concertos, pieces that are both formidable and unmistakably Russian in their own way.

Composed between 1900 and 1901, Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor marked a resurgence in his creative powers after a disastrous premiere to his First Symphony in 1897. Its mix of virtuosity and lyricism has made it one his most celebrated works, and it is often described as the greatest piano concerto ever written. 

Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2 is a tour de force among piano concertos, and even the composer himself battled anxiety when performing it. The music demands amazing technical prowess, evident in the frenetic scherzo, in which both hands play almost 1500 semiquavers in unison and without a moments pause.

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Valery Gergiev

Valery Gergiev is Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Stars of the White Nights Festival (St Petersburg), the Moscow Easter Festival, the Gergiev Rotterdam Festival, the Mikkeli International Festival, and the Red Sea Festival in Eilat, Israel. His inspired leadership as Artistic and General Director of the Mariinsky Theatre since 1988 has brought universal acclaim to this legendary institution. Born in Moscow, he studied conducting with Ilya Musin at the Leningrad Conservatory, won the Herbert von Karajan Conductors’ Competition aged 24, and made his Mariinsky Opera debut one year later conducting Prokofiev’s War and Peace. In 2003 he led St Petersburg’s 300th anniversary celebrations, and opened the Carnegie Hall season with the Mariinsky Orchestra,the first Russian conductor to do so since Tchaikovsky conducted the Hall’s inaugural concert in 1891. Valery Gergiev’s many awards include a Grammy, the Dmitri Shostakovich Award, the Golden Mask Award, People’s Artist of Russia Award, and France’s Royal Order of the Legion of Honour. His vast discography includes Russian operas, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and Tchaikovsky Symphonies, and numerous discs on the LSO Live and Mariinsky labels, including a Mahler Symphony cycle, Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle, Wagner’s Parsifal, Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, and a disc of Debussy’s music.

Mariinsky Orchestra

The Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra or the Kirov Orchestra is located in the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia. The orchestra was founded in 1783 during the reign of Catherine the Great, it was known before the revolution as the Russian Imperial Opera Orchestra. The orchestra is one of the oldest musical institutions in Russia.

In 1935 Joseph Stalin changed its name (and that of the Ballet) to the Kirov, after Sergei Kirov, the first secretary of the Communist Party in Leningrad, whose 1934 murder by his regime Stalin was attempting to whitewash. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the name was changed back to the Mariinsky in 1992.

The current artistic and general director of the Mariinsky Theatre is the conductor Valery Gergiev and the principal guest conductor is Nikolaj Znaider. Under Gergiev, the Mariinsky Orchestra has become one of the leading symphony orchestras in Russia.

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Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 2, Prokofiev Piano Concerto No 2 (2017)

Prokofiev, Rachmaninov

Denis Matsuev, Mariinsky Orchestra

Producer: Vladimir Ryabenko
Recording Engineer: Vladimir Ryabenko
Recording location: The concert hall of the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg
Recording Type & Bit Rate: Recorded live in DSD

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MAR0599D: Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 2, Prokofiev Piano Concerto No 2
02:05:48   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Piano Concerto No 2 - i. Moderato
Rachmaninov
00:09:52   Select quality & channels above
2.
Piano Concerto No 2 - ii. Adagio sostenuto, Piu animato, Tempo I
Rachmaninov
00:09:52   Select quality & channels above
3.
Piano Concerto No 2 - iii. Allegro scherzando
Rachmaninov
00:11:21   Select quality & channels above
4.
Piano Concerto No 2 - i. Andantino, Allegretto
Prokofiev
00:11:21   Select quality & channels above
5.
Piano Concerto No 2 - ii. Scherzo. Vivace
Prokofiev
00:02:20   Select quality & channels above
6.
Piano Concerto No 2 - iii. Intermezzo. Allegro moderato
Prokofiev
00:06:30   Select quality & channels above
7.
Piano Concerto No 2 - iv. Finale. Allegro tempestoso
Prokofiev
00:11:38   Select quality & channels above

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