Magazine article Gramophone

Gershwin * Rachmaninov: Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue

Magazine article Gramophone

Gershwin * Rachmaninov: Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue

Article excerpt

Gershwin * Rachmaninov

Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue

Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 2, Op 18

Denis Matsuev pf

New York Philharmonic Orchestra / Alan Gilbert

RCA Red Seal (F) 88765 49260-2 (49' * DDD)

Tchaikovsky Competition winner in New York for RCA

If you've got it, flaunt it. And Denis Matsuev has certainly got 'it'--whatever that magic, unteachable ingredient is--and is not afraid to flaunt it in this most flagrantly emotional of concertos. The piano bass of the sweeping opening theme swings like a pendulum, as it should; he gives us a true maestoso alia marcia midway through the first movement, in which every accent of its final pages is crisply executed. In tandem with Matsuev's fabulous articulation is his beautifully nuanced playing, matched in the slow movement by the NYPO's superb first clarinet; the lingering final (arpeggiated) chord is a mere whisper. The first subject of the finale, the most technically awkward passage of the whole concerto, is delivered with commanding aplomb and crystal clarity. …

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