Rachmaninoff Plays Rachmaninoff – (Zenph Re-Performance)

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This extraordinary experience features Sergei Rachmaninoff playing five of his own compositions: the Prelude in C-sharp minor; the Etudes Tableaux in C major and E-flat major, Op. 33; “Daisies”; and Moment Musical in E-flat minor, Op. 16. It also includes Rachmaninoff’s renditions of Kreisler’s Liebesleid and Liebesfreud; Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee; Mendelssohn’s scherzo from A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Tchaikovsky’s Lullaby; and Bach’s Violin Partita No. 3.

Sony Masterworks recorded this album in Kenan Auditorium at Peace College. The front three channels focus on the Steinway piano; the back two channels fill out the immersive acoustic experience of being in the renowned hall. The downloaded tracks are identical to Sony’s masters and are offered with a sampling rate of 88.2 kHz and word length of 24 bits.

Sony’s new recordings, made using state-of-the-art technology and methods, offer performances originally recorded by Rachmaninoff between 1921 and 1942. The production team selected and customized an instrument that Rachmaninoff likely played during his lifetime: a 1909 Steinway D concert grand piano. This release lets the listener experience his performances without the hissing or popping that were once considered as much a part of the monaural 78s as the music itself. Zenph’s processes eliminate the need for such compromise, returning Rachmaninoff’s performances to their original luster.

“With these re-performances, Zenph has made it possible to experience the kind of recording Rachmaninoff would have made had he lived in the era of high-definition audio,” said John Q. Walker, Chairman and Founder of Zenph. “Our technology lets listeners today hear clearly what was performed many decades ago, as if they had been in the room with the performer.”

The new surround-sound album of re-performances of Rachmaninoff was recorded by Sony Masterworks at the same time they recorded their stereo CD release, which has garnered wide acclaim. The Absolute Sound named it their “Recording of the Issue” in December 2009, with “Music: 10, Sound: 10.” Stereophile editor John Atkinson named it one of his two “Records To Die For” in their February 2010 issue.

Rachmaninoff Plays Rachmaninoff follows the success of Zenph’s productions of Glenn Gould’s 1955 recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations (2007) and Art Tatum’s Piano Starts Here (2008).

Rachmaninoff at his piano

Audio Samples:

  1. Liebesleid –
  2. Prelude, Op. 3, No. 2 in C-Sharp Minor –
  3. The Flight of the Bumblebee –
  4. Scherzo from A Midsummer Night’s Dream –
  5. Etude Tableau, Op. 33, No. 2 in C Major –
  6. Etude Tableau, Op. 33, No. 7 in E-Flat Major –
  7. Moment Musical, Op. 16, No. 2 in E-Flat Minor –
  8. Daisies, Op. 38, No. 3 –
  9. Lullaby, Op. 16, No. 1 –
  10. Violin Partita No. 3, BWV 1006; Prelude –
  11. Violin Partita No. 3, BWV 1006; Gavotte –
  12. Violin Partita No. 3, BWV 1006; Gigue –
  13. Liebesfreud –