Rachmaninov/Scriabin: Preludes

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COMPOSERS: Rachmaninov/Scriabin
LABELS: EMI Eminence
WORKS: Preludes
PERFORMER: Andrei Gavrilov (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CDEMX 2237 DDD (1984/94)
Fellow students of Nikolai Zverev in Moscow, Rachmaninov and Scriabin were childhood friends. The present compilation samples some of their most famous and passionately Romantic piano music, in idiomatic performances of awesome technical brilliance and involving emotional fantasy. In the B flat Prelude from Op. 23 or the G sharp minor from Op. 32 Gavrilov may not be in quite the same hyper-charged world as Richter or Horowitz, but he’s certainly not far away as regards phrasing and touch. And his unpedalled staccato octave attack beguiles the ear. The Rachmaninov was recorded in Moscow in January 1984, the newly released Scriabin (16 of the 24 Preludes are included) in Prague last November – both selections with EMI producers and engineers on location. Powerfully physical sound (though note that the opening of Track 6 is clipped). Ates Orga