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Rachmaninov’s second set of Études- tableaux were composed during the First World War, just before the October Revolution. Neither event is reflected in these captivating inventions – ‘short stories’ Boris Giltburg calls them. The no-less- imaginative Moments musicaux were written 20 years before in 1896. That these pieces mean much to the pianist is evident from his enthusiastic booklet notes. I enjoyed Giltburg’s previous all-Beethoven sonata disc, so I had reasonable hopes for this newcomer. Giltburg does not disappoint, delivering richly nuanced, well-prepared performances of these wonderful scores. The virtuosic demands required by Rachmaninov are taken in his stride, the focus being on projecting the music rather than just managing the notes. Though Giltburg’s interpretations do not scale the heights of Richter or Berman they still make impressive listening, especially at budget price.

GUY RICKARDS Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Piano International, 2016 - ©Rhinegold Publishing