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Some of these performances will surely be well known to readers: Nos 1 and 2 have already been reissued at mid-price; but here are all four concertos at a tempting price point. The first two concertos find Andsnes in collaboration with the Berlin Philharmonic. Pappano elicits tremendous definition from his players in the First Concerto, while the soloist exhibits his characteristic intelligence, combining close interaction with the orchestra and a careful consideration of Rachmaninov’s pianistic textures.

The live Second Concerto features a ravishing orchestral palette, while the piano sound is deftly recorded. The textural awareness and expert voice-leading that characterises Andsnes’ Rachmaninov gives life to his playing here – he is streets ahead of, say, Grimaud, or even Trpčeski. In the finale, Pappano highlights the adventurousness of Rachmaninov’s scoring.

The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) on top form graces the final two concertos. The Third is a remarkable performance that sets full-on virtuosity alongside melting lyricism and includes a towering first- movement cadenza. In the last movement, Andsnes rivals the classic Decca Ashkenazy/ Previn reading for adrenaline, and Pappano inspires terrific playing from the LSO (note the great sigh from the orchestra at the beginning of the Adagio). The Fourth Concerto finds Andsnes diametrically opposed to Michelangeli’s famous account – more dynamic, more youthful and yet exploring the work’s darker regions too. Recommended.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Piano International, 2013 - ©Rhinegold Publishing