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Classical Music Review

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Piano Works


Composer: Sergei Rachmaninoff
Performed by: Ian Gindes (piano)
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 03 November 2023

Pianist Ian Gindes presents a captivating elucidation of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s solo piano works on Rachmaninoff, a new album of discerning artistry. With meticulous care and interpretive insight, Gindes navigates the rich tapestry of Rachmaninoff’s compositions, peeling back the layers on their emotional depth and their technical intricacies. The Russian-American composer’s signature confluence of opulent chromatic harmonies and classically informed structures is imbued with zest under Gindes’ adept touch. Gindes finds an astute balance of lyricism and virtuosity, while his intuitive phrasing enhances the inherent narrative of each of the Preludes and Études-Tableaux. The album is rounded off by a fitting tribute, composed by Jerry Goldsmith and arranged by Jed Distler, honouring Rachmaninoff’s influence on Hollywood and jazz...

For those who love both the work of Rachmaninoff, and solo piano works, Rachmaninoff: Piano Works delivers 14 tracks (1 hr, 07 min, 40 sec) that pretty much cover all emotional bases.

Personal favourites here have to be the 'Preludes Op. 23', in particular 'No. 2 in B-Flat Major', which is complex and incredibly emotive.

I was particularly impressed by the closing 'Alone in the World', a work by Jerry Goldsmith which pays homage to how influential Rachmaninoff's work was in inspiring Hollywood composers and jazz musicians.

This is an incredibly rewarding album with wonderful performances by pianist Ian Gindes, who it's clear to hear is totally in tune with Rachmaninoff and the emotion he wished to convey through his works.

Track listing:

01. Lilacs Op. 21, No. 5 in A- Flat Major (2:54)
02. Études-Tableaux Op. 33, No. 4 in D Minor (3:45)
03. Études-Tableaux Op. 33, No. 8 in G Minor (4:49)
04. Études-Tableaux Op. 39, No. 1 in C Minor (3:43)
05. Études-Tableaux Op. 39, No. 8 in D Minor (4:03)
06. Preludes Op. 3, No. 2 in C-Sharp Minor (5:07)
07. Preludes Op. 23, No. 2 in B-Flat Major (3:31)
08. Preludes Op. 23, No. 4 in D Major (5:32)
09. Preludes Op. 23, No. 5 in G Minor (4:21)
10. Preludes Op. 23, No. 8 in A-Flat Major (3:27)
11. Preludes Op. 32, No. 10 in B Minor (6:43)
12. Liebesleid (Love’s Sorrow) Fritz Kreisler arr. (4:56)
13. Vocalise Op. 34, No. 14 (7:10)
14. Alone in the World - Jerry Goldsmith arr. Jed Distler (7:46)


Darren Rea