RACHMANINOV Piano Conc. 1 + 2 Zimerman 4596432

extraordinary, steely-fingered brilliance of Zimerman's playing . . . I've rarely heard it played more affectingly.

Fabulous from the off, the new Rachmaninov CD form Krystian Zimerman is above the most charismatic concerto recordings of the past 20 years, with a performance of the First that's strong on impulse, virtuosity and finesse and features watertight dialogue with the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa. The nimbleness of Zimerman's fingerwork defies belief, while his split-second reflexes will keep you on the edge of your seat . . .

5 stars . . . New releases from Krystian Zimerman are special, not just because they are such rare events, and seemingly getting rarer, but because no pianist alive today lavishes more care and attention to detail on every performance he gives . . . both performances immediately promote Zimerman to the top rank of Rachmaninov interpreters on record, alongside Horowitz, Richter, Argerich and Pletnev . . . A fabulous disc.

. . . no pianist alive today lavishes more care and attention to detail on every performance he gives . . . both performances immediately promote Zimerman to the top rank of Rachmaninov interpreters on record . . . A fabulous disc.

Zimerman is one of the few players today with the technical bravura and musical taste to make something fresh . . . With Ozawa and the Boston SO in superb form, no lover of these works should forgo the pleasures of Zimerman in such much-played music.

[Krystian Zimerman] has gained almost mystic status as one of the world's greatest living pianists, and these performances show why. He plays with passion and brilliance, offering a bitingly clear touch but deploying his virtuosity to the right ends. He really does make one listen with fresh ears to this familiar music . . . I'd always be content with Zimerman in anything, and here's one instance when, however many recordings one already has of these works, this one will never be an irrelevant burden on the shelves.

Rachmaninov's work takes on a violent emotional intensity not apparent in other interpretations . . . Zimerman engages it in a life and death struggle - and at a faster tempo.

Zimerman has taken nearly three decades to honour his 1976 DG contract to record Rachmaninov and, boy, it was worth the wait . . . His panache, dexterity and sheer good taste turn this into a thrilling ride . . . More than a match for any of the great recordings.

Krystian Zimerman's legendary quest for perfection leads him, in the First Concerto for example, to define a great deal of pianistic detail that sometimes goes unnoticed. The rapid passage-work and all those inner parts in the piano writing are articulated with strong, lithe fingers, while Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra complement the piano textures with comparable brilliance and an apt focus on indivudal instrumental timbres.

CD of the Month:
Any new recording by Krystian Zimerman is an event and this disc is no exception . . . There are few pianists today who manage to combine Zimerman's mystique - created largely by his relative scarcity on the concert platform - with such a poetic naturalness in performance. You get the impression that nothing would induce him to give a performance of anything unless it has been scrupulously studied and absorbed so that every last detail has been considered and thought about. His year-long devotion to the Chopin concertos some years ago, for which he even founded a special orchestra, bears witness to that intensity of vision. This disc is as perfect an example as is possible of why great music still needs new recordings . . . A year without a recording by the vital, ever-youthful Krystian Zimerman is a year lost . . . the verve and poetry of these performances somehow forbid comparison, even at the most exalted level.

Krystian Zimerman is a perfectionist who thinks twice before making a discographical move. Thus it comes as no surprise that he imbues the piano parts of Rachmaninov's first two concertos with remarkable technical refinement and finesse . . . there's no denying the care and formidable musicianship that distinguishes Zimerman and Ozawa's masterful teamwork, nor DG's stunning sonics.

Disc of the Month . . . Krystian Zimerman, a pianist of fearsome technique, stupendous emotional range and a well-known stickler for precision . . . Zimerman's interpretation gives a fresh lift to a well-worn concerto . . . The Boston Symphony proves a superb accompanying force with great sensitivity and a flexibility to follow exactly what the soloist has up his sleeve. And credit has to be given to the sound engineers who allow the orchestra to play with unbridled power without inhibiting the piano.

Buy . . . exciting new disc . . .

Mr. Zimerman captures both the youthful sweep and the mature intricacy in a riveting performance. From the opening outburst of vehement double octaves coursing down the keyboard, his playing is the more ferocious for its commanding control . . . Mr. Zimerman's bracing performance is a revelation . . . The heaving sweep of Mr. Zimerman's playing when the main theme finally breaks loose is awesome. And the wonders of the performance continue: the melancholic intimacy of the slow movement; the uncanny clarity of the crackling opening to the finale, which subsides so naturally to make way for the favorite theme of every Rachmaninov lover, played with unmannered elegance. Dynamic chemistry between performers is hard to account for, but Mr. Zimerman and Mr. Ozawa clearly have it.

Vital and dramatic performance by Zimerman . . . A thoughtful, fastidious artist, Zimerman illuminates details with alluring tonal glitter. With his poetic playing and the sensitive solo flute and clarinet, the dreamy slow movement of No. 2 is exceptionally beautiful.

. . . the opening of the First Concerto is among the most exciting in the literature, and Zimerman does not disappoint. In the scintillating final movement with its big cadenza his playing is quite simply stunning. He displays more than mere self-congratulatory bravura, managing to temper Rachmaninov's youthful note-spinning with an enquiring, full-toned lyricism . . . Zimerman is always a fascinating pianist to listen to and this disc is recommended, especially for the First Concerto -- it's a humdinger!

You'll struggle to find a better recording of the 2004 Hall of Fame winner. This was our April Disc of the Month and we raved about Zimerman's virtuosity and ability to give each phrase meaning and purpose.

Zimerman is a brilliant if erratic soloist with a tendency to introspection and detail . . . It is quite simply very fine Rachmaninoff playing, from a vantage point that lies outside the mainstream but remains perfectly credible. The performances is chiefly remarkable for its vast resources of color and its exceptional concern for inner voicing. I've rarely heard elsewhere such detail in the initial statement of the first theme from the second concerto's finale, for instance . . . Engineering is good, with a lively hall ambiance. The liner notes are decent . . . it is intelligent and distinctive music-making that works brilliantly. Definitely recommended.

This is a technical feat . . . the precision, weight, crispness and craftsmanship are admirable.

Mitreißende Virtuosität wechselt anschließend mit wunderbarer musikalischer Lyrik . . . Den Klavierpart hat Zimerman bis ins letzte Detail ausgearbeitet. Betörend schön sein Klang. Alles wirkt prägnant -- und mit höchster emotionaler Dringlichkeit vorgetragen.

...die Einspielung gehört zum Besten, was in den letzten Jahren erschienen ist... Klangsatter Höhepunkt sind Zimermans Schlussattacken auf das mit vollem Blech anspielende Orchester.

Noble Eleganz... [die Aufnahme] belegt eindrücklich, dass Zimerman nach wie vor ein Virtuose ist, der weder im raschen Figurenwerk noch in den vollgriffigen Akkordkaskaden in manuelle Bedrängnis gerät. Vor allem aber lässt die Aufnahme durch ihre gestalterische Noblesse und Eleganz aufhorchen: Die Fähigkeit des Pianisten, die grossen Steigerungen ganz organisch und ungezwungen aufzubauen, ist dabei ebenso bemerkenswert wie seine geschmeidige, runde Phrasierung.

Selten hat man den hochvirtuosen, dabei sehr komplexen und dichten Klavierpart des e-Moll-Monstrums so durchsichtig, so prägnant und filigran aus dem schlank und spritzig ausgesteuerten Orchesterklang heraustreten hören, und so gelingt Zimerman eine eindrucksvolle musikalische Rehabilitierung der beiden zu oft in wabernden Nebelschwaden erstickten "Schmachtfetzen". Sein Rezept: Er nimmt die emotionale Botschaft beider Werke einfach ernst -- und findet eine sehr plausible Kombination zwischen akribischer Notengenauigkeit und einem durchaus romantischen, agogisch ausgeformten, rhapsodisch-impulsiven Interpretationsansatz . . . beeindruckend . . .

Man muss nur wenige Minuten der Aufnahme hören, um zu spüren, dass hier ein Komponist ernst genommen wird, der immer noch völlig unverdient im Ruch eines Salonlöwen steht . . . Schwer vorstellbar scheint es andererseits, dass ein Pianist mit so immensen technischen Ressourcen, einer so nuancierten Anschlagskultur und einem hochentwickelten Gefühl für Proportionen, Stimmungen und Charaktere -- ein Künstler also, der die idealen Voraussetzungen für dieses Konzert [Rachmaninov Nos. 3 & 4] mitbringt --, diese nicht irgendwann in die Waagschale legen wird.

c'est une relecture qui nous est proposée, axée sur les contrastes dynamiques et les variations d'intensité, fondée sur une attention particulièrement intelligente aux indications de la parition. Les subtiles accentuations de la pulsation (souvent légèrement au-dessus ou en dessous de ce qu'on a l'habitude d'entendre) et les jeux de masses sonores auxquels Zimerman et Ozawa se livrent font vibrer l'oeuvre tout entière. . . . ce disque devrait rapidement devenir incontournable.

Soutenu par la direction . . . péremptoire . . . de Seiji Ozawa, Krystian Zimerman fait une fois de plus preuve dans cette musique où on ne l'attendait guère d'un abattage, d'une sûreté rythmique et d'un contrôle du son époustouflants. Son jeu ne manque ni de souplesse dans l'articulation, ni de liberté dans le choix des tempos et des phrasés, mais évite les accents pathétique au profit d'un dramatisme hautain. Sans jouer totalement la carte de la distanciation, sans négliger non plus le lyrisme automnal inscrit dans cette musique, Zimerman et Ozawa brusquent nos habitudes en défendant une vision à la fois brûlante et concentrée, aussi «moderne» et tranchante dans le Deuxième Concerto . . .

On sait quel perfectionniste est Krystian Zimerman, réalisant des disques rares et mûrement médités. Son dernier enregistrement, les Concertos de Chopin diriges par lui du piano . . . a réussi cet incroyable tour de force: révéler des beautés insoupçonnées dans ces ¿uvres pourtant rabâchées, et surclasse largement toutes les références existantes, y compris sa propre version antérieure, pourtant déjà superbe, avec Giulini (DG). C'est dire le niveau d'excellence que peut atteindre cet artiste, et les attentes que suscitent cette nouvelle parution. De fait, écouter par exemple la plénitude et la beauté des accords introductifs du Deuxième Concerto, puis la transparence et le galbe idéale de la mélodie aux cordes, amoureusement sculptée par Ozawa, laisse penser que nous tenons là la plus magnifique interprétation jamais réalisée de cette ¿uvre . . . ce disque . . . comporte . . . des moments tellement magnifiques que l'amoureux de ces ¿uvres y trouvera de quoi se délecter.

Una conjunción de talentos irresistible, que da lugar a una extraordinaria versión.

Lo poco que graba Zimerman es soberbio. ... Lo verdaderamente importante es comprobar cómo la estatura artística del genial pianista polaco, a pesar de sus escasas comparecencias en disco, sigue intacta y cómo aún es capaz de depararnos sorpresas en repertorios en los que nunca habíamos tenido oportunidad de escucharle. ... Como una verdadera fuerza de la Naturaleza, Zimerman se nos muestra una vez más en posesión de un sonido extraordinariamente bello y poderoso y de una técnica sin fisura que corren parejos a su capacidad para llegar al fondo de cualquier partitura. La efusión melódica y la mezcla de lirismo y morbidez que definen la esencia posromántica de estos conciertos alcanzan en sus manos cotas realmente sublimes.

El virtuosismo de Zimerman es poco menos que devastador . . . torrencial, fulminante y articuladísima cascada de notas a supersónica velocidad. . . . Zimerman fulmina hasta el último vestigio latente de academicismo, languidez o sacarinoso sentimiento que los críticos han venido reprochando a Rachmaninov ya en vida del propio compositor, así que esta versión constituirá una recomendación idónea para todo aquel (y no son pocos) que alguna vez haya dudado de la sustancia de esta música. . . . se ofrece un apasionado y apasionante modo de hacer música del más alto quilataje: el elegantísimo y poético pasaje que se inicia con el solo de trompa . . . antes de la coda del primer movimiento, la tersura y concentración del adagio sostenuto (¡y qué control dinámico el de Zimerman en la cadencia de la sección central), la irresistible exuberancia del motivo de marcha en el allegro scherzando . . . son momentos para disfrutar con arrebato y que resonarán largo tiempo en su memoria [no. 2].

Zimerman di idee ne ha per trenta pianisti. Non una stessa nota nell'arco di una stessa melodia ha accento uguale, al punto che, più che una tastiera, sembra di distinguere intere famiglie di strumenti. Lasciano senza fiato la continua invenzione del fraseggio (quante volte abbiamo ascoltato questa musica?), il taglio melodico disperatamente dolce, ma sempre raffinatissimo (per scadere nel kitsch basta una sola sbavatura), la sgranatura impressionante nelle cadenze, la bellezza e il controllo del suono, là dove la partecipazione emotiva è totale.

Rauw en woest romantisch aanstormend klinkt zijn spel, dat floreert tegen de achtergrond van het onder leiding van Seiji Ozawa uitstekend spelende Boston Symphony Orchestra . . . waar het orkest een begeleidende rol speelt is de klank fluwelig en waar het op de voorgrond treedt gebeurt dat met een pathos dat aansluit op dat van Zimerman.

"Je speelt de Rachmaninov-concerten niet, je beleeft ze", was zijn conclusie. En dat is precies wat Zimermans uitvoering zo bijzonder maakt: de combinatie van spontane ervaring en de fabelachtig briljante pianistiek die de Poolse musicus in zijn lange carrière tot een tweede natuur is geworden.

Een groots en briljant concert.

Zimerman speelt niet alleen op superieure wijze de overbekende noten van dit populairste werk van Rachmaninov, maar vertelt daarmee ook een hoogst persoonlijk, doorleefd en typisch Russisch verhaal dat wordt geprojecteerd op Rachmaninov.