- Aug 26, 2001
Since upgrading my system I have a new appreciation for well-recorded music, particularly slow jazz (i.e. Diana Krall) and other acoustic material. Can anyone suggest some good CDs?
This collection of Rachmaninoff's solo piano performances relies on a mix of old and new technologies. Between 1919 and 1929, Rachmaninoff cut these 19 performances to piano rolls, which would then be played back through reproducing pianos capable of accurately re-creating the original performances through pneumatic devices that animated the rolls with living nuances and shades--a facet that differentiated the classier reproduction keyboards from the more common "player pianos." This set updates the technology with electronic devices--transparently, though expertly, replacing the pneumatics. Played back on a Bösendorfer Reproducing Piano, this collection sounds astounding, full of Rachmaninoff's lickety-quick motion and his punching intensity when striking the keys. There are 18 Rachmaninoff selections--some of them collaborations--and one gem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," taken to new places in this 1919 reading.
The performance is impressive, but the actual recording itself is just amazing. I've never heard a more accurately recorded piano.
For acoustic guitar, I would highly recommend any (or, every) Michael Hedges album. His "Best of" is probably a good starting point. No one plays guitar like Hedges did. I actually cried when I found out he had died.