GRANTE PLAYS RACHMANINOFF. Sergei Rachmaninoff: 13 Preludes Op. 32; Variations on a theme by Corelli; Isle of the Dead (transcription for solo piano by G. Kirkor) Carlo Grante, piano. (DDD) Total time: 79:24. UPC# 0-17685-122828. [$14.95]
BUZZ: Serge Rachmaninoff's piano music can serve as a powerful introduction to the instrument for those not yet familiar with classical repertoire: its immediacy, sheer charm, and expressive power cannot fail to move even non-musical listeners. These same qualities, however, yield the most common prejudices against Rachmaninoff, especially among those who view him as a reactionary bent on easy appreciation, as if this were inherently synonymous with mediocrity. In these virtuosic performances of three Rachmaninoff solo works – of which Isle of the Dead is a recording premiere – Italian pianist Carlo Grante demonstrates the music's depth of thought, originality, and inventiveness, making a convincing case for its viability today.
"The collaboration between Sergei Rachmaninov and Carlo Grante seems an aesthetic inevitability".
-Audiophile Audition, August 28, 2009