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CHAN 10816
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CHAN 10816

Rachmaninoff: Piano Sonatas etc.

The Classical Shop
release date: May 2014

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2013


Xiayin Wang



American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City, New York, USA


William Schwartz

Ralph Couzens



Leszak Maria Wojcik

Record Label




Total Time - 65:14
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Piano Sonata No. 1, Op. 28 (1907)

  in D minor - in d-Moll - en ré mineur  
1 I Allegro moderato - Meno mosso - Allegro - Tempo I - 13:19
2 II Lento - Più mosso - Tempo I 8:31
3 III Allegro molto - Meno mosso - [ ] - Un poco meno mosso - 13:34

from Preludes, Op. 23 (1901-03)

  À Monsieur A. Siloti  
4 4 Andante cantabile 4:11
  in D major - in D-Dur - en ré majeur  
5 5 Alla marcia 3:32
  in G minor - in g-Moll - en sol mineur  
6 6 Andante 2:45
  in E flat major - in Es-Dur - en mi bémol majeur  

Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 36 (1913, revised 1931)

  in B flat minor - in b-Moll - en si bémol mineur  
  Dedicated to Matvey Leontyevich Presman  
7 Allegro agitato - Meno mosso - Poco più mosso - Tempo I - Meno mosso 7:39
8 Non allegro - Lento - Poco più mosso - Poco più mosso - 6:32
  Tempo I - L'istesso tempo -  
9 Allegro molto - Poco meno mosso - Tempo I [Allegro molto] - 5:11
  Più mosso - Tempo rubato - Presto  
  TT 65:36      
 Xiayin Wang piano
  18 and 19 September 2013 (Piano Sonata No. 2) & 18 and 19 January 2014 (other works)  

Xiayin Wang presents her second album of piano works by Rachmaninoff, playing the two piano sonatas alongside three of the Op. 23 Preludes. She impressed with the first volume, Gramophone remarking that it featured ‘playing of an awesome clarity and poise’ (Gramophone Choice).  

Piano Sonata No. 1 from 1908 was originally inspired by Goethe’s Faust, and follows the model of Eine Faust- Symphonie by Liszt. Although Rachmaninoff abandoned any explicit references soon after starting the Sonata, the influence of Liszt’s work can be heard in its grand three-movement structure and complex emotional trajectory. The symphonic proportions of the first sonata contrast with the compact 1931 revision of Piano Sonata No. 2, which Xiayin Wang performs here. Rachmaninoff cut some 120 bars from the original as well as toning down some virtuosic extravagances and creating clearer textures. 
Despite this apparent modesty, the rhapsodic expression and emotional breadth so characteristic of Rachmaninoff are abundant in the sonata. 
Three miniature masterpieces from Rachmaninoff’s first, Op. 23 set of preludes complete the disc. No. 4 in D major is a pure Andante cantabile while No. 5, one of Rachmaninoff’s best-known works, is a striding march. No. 6 in E flat major offers another reverie which effectively returns us to the calm of the D major prelude.

“… Here is an excellent pianist on a top label continuing to work her way though Rachmaninoff’s oeuvre. I eagerly await the next instalment.”

James Harrington – American Record Guide – May/June 2015

                          Artistic Quality 8                Sound Quality 10

"... a disc that gets off to a promising, searching start, and ends with a decisive knockout."

Jed Distler - - 17 December 2014

 "... she [Wang] works at the instrumental colouring precisely and uses her broad command of dynamic range, acheiving fine nuances. Splendid."

Isabel Fedrizzi - Piano News magazine (Germany) - September/October 2014

“This is even better than Xiayin Wang’s disc of Etudes-Tableaux, Moments musicaux and the Corelli Variations (CHAN 10724) … impeccably convincing …”    *****

Colin Clarke – International Piano magazine – September/October 2014

                            Editor’s Choice – Instrumental 

“The more I hear of Xiayin (pronounced ‘Sha-een’) Wang, the more I think Chandos has landed an exceptional artist… Four out of four superb discs in succession is not mean achievement …”
Jeremy Nicholas – Gramophone magazine – August 2014

                      Performance ****          Recording ****

"... a disc of marvellous appeal."

Calum MacDonald - BBC Music magazine - August 2014

"...devotees of these works shouldn’t hesitate to add this to their shelves."

Nicholas Salwey - International Record Review - June 2014

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