Lang Lang, Mariinsky Orchestra, Gergiev – Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2; Paganini Rhapsody (2005/2015) [HighResAudio FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Sergey Rachmaninov – Piano Concerto No. 2; Paganini Rhapsody – Lang Lang, Orchestra Of The Mariinsky Theatre, Valery Gergiev (2005)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:00:34 minutes | 0,99 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: | @ Deutsche Grammophon
Recorded: July 2004, Mikkeli, Martti Talvela Hall, Finland

Lang Lang at the keyboard with Valery Gergiev at the podium might seem like too combustible a combination. The young pianist, after all, has quickly become famous for his high-octane virtuosity, while the conductor’s take-no-prisoners approach has produced some truly incendiary orchestral recordings, especially in the Russian repertoire that he practically owns these days. What’s surprising, then, is how well mannered their collaboration seems in these live recordings of two of Rachmaninoff’s most popular works. The results are exciting, to be sure — technically brilliant and full of personality, with the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre (a.k.a. Gergiev’s Kirov Orchestra, apparently reverting at long last to its pre-Soviet name) contributing a wonderfully Russian darkness of tone — but also deeply musical, never flashy just for the sake of bravura effect. Having devoted himself to Tchaikovsky’s First Concerto on an earlier CD, Lang Lang applies his mastery of grand Romantic gestures to another audience favorite here, Rachmaninoff’s Second. Gergiev seems happy to follow the pianist in the music’s ebb and flow, lingering along with each of the composer’s expansive tunes like a series of beautifully nostalgic memories. If the performance of Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini is even more successful, it’s doubtless because this work gives Lang Lang more opportunity to revel in high-spirited capers at the keyboard; the lyrical 18th variation is as beguiling as it needs to be, but it’s the vigorous wit of the surrounding music that really brings out the pianist’s sheer joy in music making. There’s a crowded field of Rachmaninoff recordings on the market, both classic and recent (including, among the latter, Krystian Zimerman in the First and Second Concertos, and Stephen Hough in the complete works for piano and orchestra), but Lang Lang’s meeting with Gergiev earns a solidly satisfying place among them.

Sergey Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
Concerto For Piano And Orchestra No. 2 In C Minor, Op. 18
1 1. Moderato – Più Vivo – Allegro – Maestoso. (Alla Marcia) – Moderato 11:45
2 2. Adagio Sostenuto 12:27
3 3. Allegro Scherzando – Moderato – Allegro Scherzando – Presto – Moderato –
Allegro Scherzando – Alla Breve – Presto – Maestoso -Risoluto 10:22
Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini, Op. 43
4 Introduction: Allegro Vivace 0:09
5 Variation I: (Precedente) 0:21
6 Tema: L’istesso Tempo 0:21
7 Variation II: L’istesso Tempo 0:20
8 Variation III: L’istesso Tempo 0:26
9 Variation IV: Più Vivo 0:29
10 Variation V: Tempo Precedente 0:30
11 Variation VI: L’istesso Tempo 1:08
12 Variation VII: Meno Mosso, A Tempo Moderato 1:13
13 Variation VIII: Tempo I 0:35
14 Variation IX: L’istesso Tempo 0:32
15 Variation X 0:57
16 Variation XI: Moderato 1:44
17 Variation XII: Tempo Di Minuetto 1:14
18 Variation XIII: Allegro 0:29
19 Variation XIV: L’istesso Tempo 0:43
20 Variation XV: Più Vivo Scherzando 1:11
21 Variation XVI: Allegretto 1:31
22 Variation XVII 1:58
23 Variation XVIII: Andante Cantabile 2:49
24 Variation XIX: L’istesso Tempo 0:26
25 Variation XX: Un Poco Più Vivo 0:36
26 Variation XXI: Un Poco Più Vivo 0:26
27 Variation XXII: Un Poco Più Vivo (Alla Breve) 1:47
28 Variation XXIII: L’istesso Tempo 0:52
29 Variation XXIV: A Tempo Un Poco Meno Mosso 1:23

Lang Lang, piano
Orchestra Of The Mariinsky Theatre
Valery Gergiev, conductor