Sergei Babayan - Rachmaninoff [Préludes, Études-Tableaux, Moments Musicaux]

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Sergei Babayan - Rachmaninoff [Préludes, Études-Tableaux, Moments Musicaux]
Sergei Babayan (piano)

[ Deutche Grammophon / CD ]

Release Date: Friday 7 August 2020

A selection of lucid, intimate, and short-from Rachmaninoff works, interpreted with pinpoint technical precision.

"Music is born only in the heart and it appeals only to the heart; it is Love! The sister of Music is Poesy, and its mother is Sorrow!" These are the words Sergei Rachmaninoff used to describe his concept of music.

Sergei Babayan's interpretations of a selection of Rachmaninoff's short- form jewels mirror this heartfelt sentiment while also showing his deep and unsentimental understanding of the music. Next to the Études-Tableux, the Préludes and Moments Musicaux, the album contains enchanting, lyrical song transcriptions. After the 2018 release of "Prokofiev for two" with Martha Argerich, this project shows Babayan's essence as an extraordinarily skillful pianist. Babayan is one of the leading pianists of our time, hailed for his emotional intensity, bold energy and remarkable levels of color.

"There's some extraordinary playing on this beautifully recorded disc. The Armenian-born American pianist exhibits a profound empathy for Rachmaninov's music, revelling in its richness of sonority, its contrasting moods of elation and melancholy, and its structural fluidity. What really binds this recital into an utterly compelling musical experience is the sheer range and tonal variety of his pianism." BBC Recording of the Month Oct 2020

"There are certainly no doubts about the fluency of Babayan's playing, nor about his affinity with Rachmaninov, even if that is rather over-egged in the gushing liner notes. There's a sense of cool refinement about everything he does, keeping plenty in reserve in even the most technically demanding passages, but the impression his playing leaves is often a rather neutral one." The Guardian


Preludes Op. 23 Nos. 1-10: VIII. Allegro vivace
Preludes Op. 32 Nos. 1-13: XII. Allegro
Songs (12), Op. 21: V. Lilacs (Transcr. Rachmaninoff for Solo Piano)
Preludes Op. 32 Nos. 1-13: VI. Allegro appassionato
Études-Tableaux, Op. 33: III. Grave
Etudes-Tableaux, Op. 39: Nos 1 & 2
Preludes Op. 32 Nos. 1-13: X. Lento
Songs (12), Op. 21: IX. Melody (Transcr. Volodos for Piano)
Morceau de fantaisie in G Minor "Delmo"
Preludes Op. 23 Nos. 1-10: IV. Andante cantabile
Etudes-Tableaux, Op. 39: V. Appassionato
Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19: III. Andante (Transcr. Volodos for Piano)
Moments Musicaux, Op. 16: Nos 2 & 6

Rachmaninov: Études-Tableaux, Op. 39 - II. Lento assai