Olli Mustonen - Rachmaninov Piano Sonata No. 1 - Tchaikovsky The Seasons


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Total download size: 2.50GB Total play length: 1:11:21

Cover art and liner notes included

It is pleasing to see the First Piano Sonata of Rachmaninov on a new album. Although not nearly as widely performed as the more popular Second Sonata, this sometimes ambling early work is nonetheless worthy of performance. The piece was originally conceived as a programmatic work around Faust, but Rachmaninov later dropped this reference; perhaps keeping it would have provided slightly more guidance to listeners, however. The Tchaikovsky Seasons, Op. 37b, is another infrequently recorded gift to listeners. Written as a serial offering, each of the miniatures was truly written in the month that bares its name.

Pianist Olli Mustonen is a masterful performer whose interpretation of the Rachmaninov First Sonata does a great deal to delineate different sections and ideas, thereby providing listeners with a more cohesive and easy-to-follow performance than is typically heard. The multichannel mode of this recording truly surrounds the listener with the sound, making for an enjoyable, concert-like experience. Mustonen's technique is quite plentiful, although his approach to some of the more forceful sections (especially in the third movement) are a little soft and may leave you wishing for a little more of the angularity with which Ashkenazy approached this sonata. Mustonen's Tchaikovsky is the most convincing and enjoyable recording of this work to memory. His interpretation makes each of the miniatures quite evocative of its program. This album is worthwhile for the Tchaikovsky alone.

This album was mastered using our 2xHD proprietary system. In order to achieve the most accurate reproduction of the original recording we tailor our process specifically for each project, using a selection from our pool of state-of-the-art audiophile components and connectors. The process begins with a transfer to analog from the original DSD master, using cutting edge D/A converters. The analog signal is then sent through a hi-end tube pre-amplifier before being recorded directly in DXD using the dCS905 A/D and the dCS Vivaldi Clock. All connections used in the process are made of OCC silver cable.

DSD and 192kHz/24Bit versions are separately generated, directly from the analog signal.

1. Piano Sonata No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 28: I. Allegro moderato
2. Piano Sonata No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 28: II. Lento
3. Piano Sonata No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 28: III. Allegro molto
4. The Seasons, Op. 37b: I. January: By the Fireside
5. The Seasons, Op. 37b: II. February: Carnival
6. The Seasons, Op. 37b: III. March: Song of the Lark
7. The Seasons, Op. 37b: IV. April: Snowdrop
8. The Seasons, Op. 37b: V. May: May Nights
9. The Seasons, Op. 37b: VI. June: Barcarolle
10. The Seasons, Op. 37b: VII. July: Song of the Reaper
11. The Seasons, Op. 37b: VIII. August: The Harvest
12. The Seasons, Op. 37b: IX. September: The Hunt
13. The Seasons, Op. 37b: X. October: Autumn Song
14. The Seasons, Op. 37b: XI. November: Troika
15. The Seasons, Op. 37b: XII. December: Christmas

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