Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos 3 and 4

Performances by Leif Ove Andsnes and the London Symphony Orchestra

Rachmaninov

Piano Concertos 3 and 4

Leif Ove Andsnes

(EMI)

Andsnes first recorded the Third Concerto 15 years ago with the Oslo Philharmonic, also on EMI. Here the London Symphony Orchestra under Antonio Pappano are more in tune with the dark Romantic sweep of the music.

Andsnes now demonstrates an easier command of the music, finding the diversity of feeling behind the notes while avoiding extremes of Russian-style intensity and western-style technical showmanship.

What his performance lacks is electricity and a touch of eccentricity. At the climaxes you never sense the unstoppable surge of adrenalin that marks out the finest, which is why I will stick to Argerich’s 1982 recording on Philips. The less well known Fourth Concerto receives a bigger, bolder performance, with a much higher excitement quotient – thanks in no small measure to Pappano and the LSO.

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