PIANO CONCERTOS / RACHMANINOV, PROKOFIEV / Pletnev 4715762

. . . it is arguably the finest studio-made performance since Horowitz's more than half a century ago. As a pianist Pletnev has quite a lot in common with Horowitz . . . But he is a far more musical pianist than Horowitz was, if not quite the same natural showman. Pletnev is always a searching interpreter, able to fuse instinct with intelligence.

Pletnev's fingerwork reveals the bejewelled nature of the composer's keyboard writing as never before and at first it seems that there will be sufficient joie de vivre to convince the sceptics. Tempi are unhurried throughout, yet the air of detachment becomes more acute in the finale where Prokofiev provides the sort of tidal wave denouement expressly designed to bring an audience to its feet.

The piano playing . . . is magnificent.

[Pletnev] has technique to burn and a wonderful sense of Russian melos. In the first movement, he takes a fluid, almost improvisatory approach, seconded admirably by Rostropovich. . . . The Russian National Orchestra is a splendid Russian-style ensemble with mellow, almost woodwind sounding, horns, sonorous lower brass, and a string section capable of surging and soaring where required.

. . . both scores are gloriously illuminated. Here are wonderful realisations of incision and consideration superbly recorded. The Rachmaninov receives a dark-earth account of soulful, volatile expression. Rostropovich clarifies Rachmaninov's orchestral 'small print' to offset Pletnev's fastidious insights.The Prokofiev is even finer . . . Pletnev's facility and fantasy, with Rostropovich's love and care, fuse this concerto into something totally meaningful.

Over the years, Pletnev's suave, technically impeccable pianism has become increasingly familiar. So it's perhaps no surprise that this new Rachmaninov's Third offers the warm comfort of an old sweater . . . Granted, it's hard not to admire Pletnev's sheer facility . . .

Nur selten dürften etwa die Dialoge zwischen Orchestersoli und Klavier bei Rachmaninow so hellhörig oder die Verwandlungen des Variationsthemas im Mittelsatz des Prokofjew-Konzerts so schlicht und dennoch differenziert dargeboten worden sein wie hier.

Mikhail Pletnev, endlich ans Klavier zurückgekehrt, gibt Proben seiner pianistischen Meisterschaft, präzis, voll virtuosem Schwung . . .

Pletnev spielt seinen Part mit quasi schwereloser Souveränität, bietet vor allem eine durchdachte, perfekt phrasierte Andeutung des musikalischen Gehalts.

. . . en la página de Rachmaninov, Pletnev no se abandona a la exuberancia y exageración a las que el concierto tiende a invitar, sino que el sentimiento se condensa en una interpretación bien consensuada con la orquesta, de importante volumen en la obra, con una magnífica rúbrica en el final. El Prokofiev es tañido con gran tensión y acento . . . En definitiva, he aquí un sapiente gusto por la precisión y la personalización de estas claves del repertorio. Muy bueno.