Russian rapture in Ashkenazy’s Rachmaninov
Poetic sensitivity and virtuosity in Rachmaninov's gorgeous Vocalise from a master performer, but not an overwhelming impact.
Repertoire: Moments musicaux
Artists: Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano)
Label: Decca 475 6198
Ashkenazy is a master Rachmaninovian, as is testified by blazing 1970s accounts of the piano concertos with André Previn, and impassioned 1980s recordings of the symphonies. He is still a formidable virtuoso, yet compared to the overwhelming impact of Gavrilov in the Moments musicaux and Shelley’s rapt poetry in the Morceaux de fantasie, he sounds a shade uninvolving in the lesser-known works. The Vocalise, however, is sheer poetry.