Rachmaninoff: Piano Concertos 1-4 - Ashkenazy, Previn

Rachmaninoff: Piano Concertos 1-4 - Ashkenazy, Previn

Decca Classics  4786443 (3 discs)


Classical - Orchestral

Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano)
London Symphony Orchestra
André Previn (conductor)

“The collaboration with André Previn was always special. One mustn’t forget that apart from being an extraordinary musician, he is also a highly accomplished pianist... he knew every note, every rubato on the piano like almost nobody else. I will never forget playing and recording with him my Rachmaninov concertos.” Vladimir Ashkenazy

The Rachmaninov Piano Concertos performed by Vladimir Ashkenazy and the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by André Previn are among the most iconic recordings in the Decca Classics catalogue. To celebrate these recordings, DECCA has gone back to the original tapes and used the latest techniques and extensive comparison with the first LP pressings, to make a definitive transfer. For the first time ever, all audio processing has been achieved in the 96kHz 24-bit domain. The new Blu-ray disc format, in particular, affords an unprecedented opportunity to hear the recordings at this resolution.

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4 of 4 recommend this, would you recommend it?  yes | no

Analogue recording
Resolutions (3)
  • 2.0 Dolby TrueHD 24bit/96kHz
  • 2.0 DTS HD MA 24bit/96kHz
  • 2.0 LPCM 24bit/96kHz
Comments (7)

Comment by Paul Hannah - December 10, 2015 (1 of 7)

Surely the best Rachmaninov Concertos on disc.

Comment by Contrapunctus - May 26, 2019 (2 of 7)

Universal Japan has commissioned UK ClassicSound for a new remastering of the tapes. A set of 2 SHM-SACDs will be released on Jul. 24th (UCGD-9077/JAN/ISBN 4988031336557).

Comment by DYB - June 1, 2019 (3 of 7)

Huh, that's interesting. Didn't Decca claim they did their own brand new remastering for this issue? I wonder what difference we will see...

Comment by breydon_music - June 3, 2019 (4 of 7)

Yes, the blu-ray issue was remastered from "the original analogue tapes" by Andrew Walter at Abbey Road Studios (i.e. EMI at the time!), and then remastered by Andrew "under the supervision of Decca engineer Philip Siney". You would have thought that the results of that just 5 years ago would have been used for the new issue, but it's interesting that Universal Japan have gone through Classic Sound instead. I think their reputation is high in Japan right now - they have done all of the Tower/Decca (and Philips) titles for a while now, and they have also handled the Decca and Mercury titles that Stereo Sound have issued. Their Mercurys for Stereo Sound (as has been remarked elsewhere here) are just stunning - way, way better than the equivalent Mercurys from 15-odd years ago. I have the blu-ray set (which I thought was by far the best transfer these performances have yet received) but I will stump up for this new one if only for the far greater convenience of the SACD format and the better engineering of my SACD player as compared to my blu-ray player!

Comment by Contrapunctus - May 30, 2023 (5 of 7)

Esoteric is going to release these recordings on June 17th. Given the already brilliant transfers out there, I'm definitely not interested.

Comment by DYB - May 30, 2023 (6 of 7)

Contrapunctus, I agree. For me the Decca Japan issue is really spectacular. Esoteric's choices continue to confound me. So many of their recent issues have been released very recently already. Why they are littering the market with stuff like this - when there are still so many classics analog recordings that remain un-restored and unreleased - is completely nonsensical to me.

Comment by Athenaeus - June 1, 2023 (7 of 7)

Indeed! In June they will also release Milstein's recording of Bach's Sonatas and Partitas. A great set! The thing is, though, that Tower Records released this one on SACD not so long ago. I have the Tower Records set and it sounds fine. I doubt Esoteric can really improve on what Tower Records did.

I agree that it seems so pointless and wasteful when there are a myriad of other great recordings out there that would benefit from a careful remastering. I haven't bought an Esoteric SACD in a very long time. I prefer to concentrate on those series that are doing useful work, like the Tower Records programme. Or to explore recent recordings from labels like BIS or Channel Classics.


1xBD + 2xCD