Album review: Valentina Lisitsa, Rachmaninov (Decca Classics)

 

Having begun to establish herself via YouTube, Valentina Lisitsa ambitiously chose to make the four Rachmaninov Piano Concertos her musical “calling card”, to which end she and her husband remortgaged their home, hired the LSO and Abbey Road, and recorded them at their own expense.

The gamble has paid off, there being no more extensive showcase of her abilities: her energetic style is most dramatically captured at the end of the Third Concerto, galloping along with a coltish exuberance. She negotiates changes in mood and energy with no undue grinding of gears, though you sense an eagerness when reflective moments transform into passages of more sweeping emotional heft.

Download: Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor; Piano Concerto No 3 in D minor

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