Rachmaninov wants a word in your ear

Rachmaninov wants a word in your ear


norman lebrecht

August 28, 2020

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week, a rare 5-star:

The arrival of an altogether astonishing album has made me break my solemn (and unrealistic) pledge to review only neglected composers during the Covid pandemic. Nobody could possibly call Rachmaninov neglected, although with the disruption of a regular supply of live music with a living, breathing audience this recital of solo pieces has the shock of the new …

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  • Greg Bottini says:

    Looking forward to listening to this CD, Norman!

  • Lady Weidenfeld says:

    You hit the nail on the head Norman! A truly superb recording.

  • perturbo says:

    This is indeed an outstanding album. There are several older Babayan solo releases that are all worth hearing, including an outstanding Scarlatti disc.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Any Sergei Babayan recording I ever check out is sublime.

    I find it quite remarkable that he reached world fame in his 50s, to a some extent because of Trifonov. Arguably the 50s can be a great age for pianists: old enough to have gained significant wisdom, young enough not to have lost on technical accuracy (though there is no shortage of old pianists who age magnificently). But for the (silly) media, pianists in their 50s are too old to be the newest star, too young to be elder statesmen. So it’s wonderful to see Babayan buck the trend.

  • nimitta says:


  • Edgar Self says:

    An honor-roll of Rachmaninoff spielers from Occam, not forgotten while I’m alive. Others: Rustem Hayrudinof’f, Sofronitzki, Richter, and Yevgeny Svetlanov, an extremely fine pianist in works by Rachmaninff and his friend Medtner, known also to Moiseiwitsch, Horowitz, Igor Zhukov, Nikolayeva, Hamish Milne, and Geoffrey Tozer.

    This takes nothing from Sergei Babayan, who is of their comopany, a well-kept secret for his Scarlatti, &tc.

    At various times also Janis, Graffman, Cliburn, Josef Hofmann, Micheangeli, and even Rubinstein, who professed no affinity but recorded an ideal second concerto with Golschmnn.

    Rachmaninoff’s own choices were Hofmann, Horowitz, and Moiseiwitsch. The third concerto is dedicated to Hofmann, who never performed it. That was for the man its comoposer called “Gorovitz”. who recorded it four times over 46 years.