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Classical Music

Preludes


Beethoven: Sonata, Op.27, No.2 Moonlight / Franck: Prelude, choral et fugue / Brahms: Variations on a Theme Paganini Op. 35

Beethoven: Sonata, Op.27, No.2 Moonlight / Franck: Prelude, choral et fugue / Brahms: Variations on a Theme Paganini Op. 35 Lowest new price: $4.77
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Model: 2026234

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A wizard of technical control since his prodigy days, Kissin simply uses this as a foundation to probe the depths of such core repertory items as the ones on this collection. It takes a truly subtle musicality and grasp to make the endlessly recorded Moonlight sound fresh, but Kissin has the goods, pulling the carpet from underneath and making you really notice, with his unsentimental, steady tempo, how unsettling Beethoven's harmonic fluctuations are in a first movement of startling inwardness. Kissin allows the middle minuet to blossom within the sonata's larger nightscape, while he pushes the finale's cri de coeur to its heaven-storming edge. He likewise traces the late-19th-century gothic labyrinth of Franck's Prelude, Choral et Fugue with an absorbing blend of delicacy and power. But the real highlight of this disc is the gloriously brilliant intensity Kissin brings to the Brahms Paganini Variations. Listen to how he parades a dizzying, dazzling series of moods--from caressing introspection and bone-crunching, steely chords to the giddy cross-rhythms of Book II, Variation 7--to match Brahms's magnitude of invention. This is pianism of the first order. --Thomas May

Features:

  • Beethoven: Sonata, Op.27, No.2 Moonlight / Franck: Prelude, choral et fugue / Brahms: Variations on a Theme Paganini Op. 35 (1998-03-10)

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Best Classics 100 Volume 2

Best Classics 100 Volume 2 Lowest used price: $6.86

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Chopin: Preludes & Impromptus

Chopin: Preludes & Impromptus Lowest new price: $7.48
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To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Chopin's birth, Hyperion has excerpted some of the finest performances from Garrick Ohlsson's complete Chopin project, originally recorded for the Arabesque label and reissued on Hyperion as a 16-CD boxed set. These discs include some of the finest contemporary Chopin playing and include definitive performances of the complete etudes and marzurkas.


Bach: Toccata & Fugue / Passacaglia & Fugue / Pastorale / Preludes & Fugues (Essential Classics)

Bach: Toccata & Fugue / Passacaglia & Fugue / Pastorale / Preludes & Fugues (Essential Classics) Lowest new price: $9.98
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Christopher Parkening: The Great Recordings - By America's Preeminent Guitar Virtuoso

Christopher Parkening: The Great Recordings - By America's Preeminent Guitar Virtuoso Lowest new price: $69.98
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Christopher Parkening: The Great Recordings - By America's Preeminent Guitar Virtuoso

Features:

  • EMI Classics

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Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Scriabin, Rachmaninov, Chopin, Bach, Brahms: Alexis Weissenberg - Classic Archive

Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Scriabin, Rachmaninov, Chopin, Bach, Brahms: Alexis Weissenberg - Classic Archive Lowest new price: $12.96
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Alexis Weissenberg - Classic Archive

Weissenberg was at the beginning of his substantial international career in these films, mostly made by French television in the 1960s. The one exception is a 1965 version of Stravinsky’s Three Movements from Petrouchka renowned in its time for attempting to mirror the music’s rhythms and moods. Directed by Åke Falck and filmed in a Stockholm studio, the camera is a creative partner with composer and pianist. So all kinds of odd angles are employed. If you want to see what Weissenberg’s chin looks like from the vantage point of the keyboard, here’s your chance. Lighting and backgrounds change often, but there’s an element of art-house kitsch to the film that today seems dated. In a bonus track, Weissenberg speaks about how the film was made and the difficulties of matching finger movements to the prerecorded sound track while he "played" the work on a specially built silent piano, whose inner plumbing is an important visual element here. As for Weissenberg’s playing, this difficult piece is red meat for a virtuoso of his caliber and he’s predictably impressive, although the piano tone can get glassy in the treble and the considerable pounding the piano gets can leave you feeling pummeled. A wild ride perhaps, but a worthwhile one. The remainder of the solo part of the program consists of Weissenberg favorites: an example of Age of Iron Prokofiev via his Sonata No.3, a Scriabin Nocturne that shows the pianist’s lyric side, a Chopin set offering well-played, interpretively squeaky-clean pianism that needs more tonal bloom than the various engineers could supply at the time. Weissenberg programmed a lot of Bach and some of his best playing comes in the Chromatic Fantasy (here shorn of the Fugue). Bach that looks filmed in a dark celler at midnight, Myra Hess’ famed transcription of Jesu, joy of man’s desiring gets a steel-fingered rendition. The biggest piece on the disc, Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2, with the French Radio Orchestra led by a heavily perspiring George Prêtre, features grainy video and compromised sound that should have been better for its 1969 date. But pianophiles will be interested in this record of a famed virtuoso at his peak. --Dan Davis

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Bernstein Conducts and Plays Bernstein (Symphonies: Jeremiah/The Age of Anxiety/Kaddish; Serenade; Chichester Psalms; Prelude, Fugue and Riffs) (Leonard Berstein, A Portrait)

Bernstein Conducts and Plays Bernstein (Symphonies: Jeremiah/The Age of Anxiety/Kaddish; Serenade; Chichester Psalms; Prelude, Fugue and Riffs) (Leonard Berstein, A Portrait) Lowest used price: $25.12


Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No.3 / Vocalise / Prelude

Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No.3 / Vocalise / Prelude Lowest new price: $24.99
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Model: 2583438

The Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Seiji Ozawa, featuring pianist Evengy Kissin....performs Rachmanioff's Piano Concerto No.3.

Features:

  • Sony Classical

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Leos Janacek Sinfonietta / 4 Preludes / Pro Arte Orchestra / Sir Charles Mackerras

Leos Janacek  Sinfonietta  /  4 Preludes / Pro Arte Orchestra / Sir Charles Mackerras Lowest used price: $4.98


Horowitz Plays Rachmaninoff: Sonata in B-Flat Minor, Op. 36 / Prelude in G-Sharp Minor, Op. 32 / Moment Musical in B Minor, Op. 16 / Three Etudes-Tableuaux

Horowitz Plays Rachmaninoff: Sonata in B-Flat Minor, Op. 36 / Prelude in G-Sharp Minor, Op. 32 / Moment Musical in B Minor, Op. 16 / Three Etudes-Tableuaux Lowest new price: $3.18
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Horowitz Plays Rachmaninoff: Sonata in B-Flat Minor, Op. 36 / Prelude in G-Sharp Minor, Op. 32 / Moment Musical in B Minor, Op. 16 / Three Etudes-Tableuaux. Columbia Stereo M 30464


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