Anna Fedorova - Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 1 (2020)


Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen, -

Modestas Pitrenas

Pianist Anna Fedorova returns to NativeDSD with her 3rd DSD release - Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 1.  The album features over 1 hour of fine music with Fedorova accompanied by the St. Gallen Symphony Orchestra conducted by Modestas Pitrenas. This is a DSD Exclusive, Not Available on SACD release.  It's available in Stereo and Multichannel DSD (up to DSD 256), Stereo DSD 512, and Stereo and Multichannel DXD.

"Throughout my life, Rachmaninoff and his music have had a special place in my heart. Even though I am Ukrainian and was born in Kiev many decades after the October revolution, I always felt a connection to the old pre-revolutionary Russia (the one Rachmaninoff knew and grew up in) and its spirit, which is always present in his music. My grandmother on my father’s side was representative of this true Russian culture. Her parents passed away when she was a little girl and she grew up with her grandmother, who lived most of her life in Pre-soviet Russia and who was still baring the traditions of the time. She passed it on to her granddaughter (my grandmother) whom I was very close to and spent a lot of time during my early childhood. She introduced me to Russian literature and cinematography. Before starting school I was already reading Pushkin and Turgenev and saw the Russian film adaptation masterpiece of Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’. By the time I was 5 years old, I had my first crush – on Andrei Bolkonski.

My first acquaintance with Rachmaninoff was quite funny and also happened during early childhood (I must have been 6 or 7 years old). I remember my father practicing Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3 when he asked me to help him at the very end of the finale, where there is a quite complicated rhythmical sequence. He wanted me to play together with him the orchestra part – I was so excited! It took me some time before I could read the rhythm properly, but soon after I was very proudly playing with my father on... pan covers! During this period my father was rehearsing Rachmaninoff all the time at home and I was already then falling in love with the incredible harmonies, powerful emotions and beautiful long melodies which can’t leave your heart indifferent.

10 bells ringing on their necks, and the feeling of light melancholy and a long way ahead. Op. 32 No. 5: This is the prelude of fresh spring air, the scent of lilac which Rachmaninoff adored and the feeling of quiet ecstasy from uniting with nature and beauty. Op. 23 No. 2: Showing the bright side of Russian soul – festive Easter Church bells, jubilation and exultation, generosity and warmth, and a big loving heart! Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini was the last big work Rachmaninoff wrote for piano. He wrote it in 1934 at his summer residence “Senar” which is located on Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. Shortly before recording this album, I was extremely fortunate to visit this special place which is now overseen by the Rachmaninoff Foundation. It was so special to visit Rachmaninoff’s home – everything is left just as if he was still living there. All the furniture, silverware…even sheets and towels are authentic. Of course, the biggest treat for me was to try Rachmaninoff’s piano which he bought in 1930 and which is kept in absolutely perfect shape! In fact, it is the very piano he composed Paganini Rhapsody on. Being at his studio, sitting at his table, playing on his piano, and diving into the atmosphere of his life – all this was the greatest inspiration I could imagine for recording his music.

This album is like an express train, taking us through the whole of Rachmaninoff’s life. From his student years when he was composing his 1st Piano Concerto through adult years when he wrote the Preludes, his departure to the USA when he revised his Piano Concerto and to the last years of his life when he was spending his summers in Lucerne, Switzerland, composing and scampering around on his speed boat. Rachmaninoff was never able to return to, or even visit his home country after emigrating from Russia, but his homeland always remained in his heart and is always reflected in his music. It was so special to embark on this Rachmaninoff journey with Jared Sacks, who always make out of every recording session the most inspiring and creative process! I also couldn’t be happier to have the St. Gallen Symphony Orchestra and Modestas Pitrenas as my musical partners for this recording. – it was a pure joy making music with them!"

- Anna Fedorova, pianist

Adrian Quanjer from reviewed this album recently so visit the Blog.nativeDSD to read the full review.

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Anna Fedorova

Anna Fedorova is one of the world's premier pianists. From an early age, she demonstrated an innate musical maturity and outstanding technical abilities. Her international concert career took off while she was only a child, and audiences around the world were stunned by the depth and power of her musical expression. Critics have praised Anna's signature “sweet modesty and wild expression,” which rendered listeners “completely taken by surprise, compelled and astonished.”

Anna has claimed top prizes at numerous international piano competitions, including the International Rubinstein 'In Memoriam' piano competition, the Moscow International Frederick Chopin Competition for young pianists, the Lyon Piano Competition, and recently became recipient of the Verbier Festival Academy Award. She is also two-time laureate of the Dorothy MacKenzie Artist Recognition Scholarship Award at the International Keyboards Institute & Festival (New York, USA). A graduate of the Lysenko School of Music in Kyiv (studio of Borys Fedorov), Anna is currently a student of Norma Fisher at the Royal College of Music in London, she is David Young Piano Prize Holder supported by a Soiree d’Or Award and Keyboard Trust. Additionally, Anna studies at the prestigious Accademia Pianistica in Imola, Italy under professor Leonid Margarius. She has also received artistic guidance from world renowned pianists such as Alfred Brendel and Menahem Pressler, and is regularly mentored by Steven Isserlis and Andras Schiff.

She has performed in some of the most prestigious concert halls of Europe, North and South America, and Asia. Having mastered a formidable concerto repertoire, she played with orchestras around the world.

In September 2013 Anna performed Rachmaninoff 2nd Piano Concerto at the opening of the season of Sunday Morning Concerts series at the Great hall of the Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. The recording of this concert has 19 million views on YouTube so far and is highly praised among renowned musicians. It is the Concerto with the most views on YouTube:

photo: Marco Borggreve

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Anna Fedorova - Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 1 (2020)


Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen, -

    AllMusic -

(...) Her playing is elegant, and in the upper registers, it has an unusual sparkling quality deployed to excellent effect in the four Preludes that form the central act of the program. She is also attractively reflective in the quieter passages of the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43. (...)

James Manheim

    Audiophile Audition -

(...) The innate warmth of the St. Gallen string line has been well captured by Producer Jared Sacks. (...) As part of her “express train” traversal of Rachmaninoff’s development in this album, Fedorova provides us yet another, passionate reading of the 1934 Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, his final work for piano and orchestra. (...) the optimistically explosive Bb Major, Op. 23, No. 2, “the bright side of Russian soul – festive Easter Church bells, jubilation and exultation, generosity and warmth, and a big loving heart!” Here, Federova reveals something of the “Richter tradition” in large chords in splendid volume, massive, but without intrusive percussion and still singing.

Gary Lemco

    Klassieke Zaken

(...) Dat de Oekraïense ‘iets heeft’ met Rachmaninov weten we sinds haar wereldwijd veel-bekeken YouTube-film van het Tweede pianoconcert (ruim 25 miljoen hits!). Haar populariteit gaat gelukkig gelijk op met de kwaliteit van haar spel. (...) ze houdt van Rachmaninov - hoorbaar in elke noot die ze speelt.

Gerard Scheltens

    BBC Music Magazine (5 + 5 stars) -

“That Anna Fedorova has a special feeling for this work is not only evident in her introductory essay in the booklet: the way the second theme – the work’s first moment of quintessential Rachmaninov – emerges dream-like out of silence is very special.” (...) ”Fedorova’s reflective yet never over-indulgent style of playing is also evident in the preludes. Her technique is fluent but never facile – witness the crystalline textures of the G sharp minor Prelude. (...) the Paganini Rhapsody initially appears a scintillating and very extensive encore, demonstrating Fedorova’s fire and theatrical qualities...” PERFORMANCE: 5 stars, RECORDING: 5 stars

    Pizzicato -

(…) The music can wonderfully breathe and sing (…) Anna Fedorova’s playing is razor-sharp (…) a sensitive and concentrated performer.

    Opus Klassiek

Een verhalenvertelster: geen twijfel mogelijk (…) het flonkerende, expressief diepgravende spel van Fedorova hield me bijna 70 minuten lang op het puntje van de stoel. Fascinerend ook hoezeer zij de vele stormachtige passages in zowel het pianoconcert als de rapsodie modelleerde en die ik zou willen kenschetsen als uiterst geraffineerd gecontroleerde onbesuisdheid.

(…) With a skilful combination of sensitive elegance and brilliant virtuosity she sets down a performance that keeps the audience enchanted (…) What more can I say than recommending this release to all those seeking a revival of late romantic lyrical poetry, without any of the tearfully sentimental undertones it has sometimes in the past been given. (…) a big compliment to Maestro Pitrenas and his musicians! (…) the (surround) sound, in DSD 64 quality, is heavenly good (…)

Adrian Quanjer


(…) Fedorova follows the concerto with a selection of four Preludes, beautifully capturing the echt Russian melancholy (…)

Jeremy Nicholas

    Classics FM

(…) Her latest album is filled with 14 fantastic recordings. (…) | NativeDSD Blog

What more can I say than recommending this release to all those seeking a revival of late romantic lyrical poetry, without any of the tearfully sentimental undertones it has sometimes in the past been given. For some it may also serve as an antidote to often overblown ‘musical-contest-performances’. And while on the subject of praise, let me also extend a big compliment to Maestro Pitrenas and his musicians! Needless to say that the (surround) sound, in DSD 64 quality, is heavenly good, with a convincing, not overstretched spatial and discrete ambient soundstage, putting the listener in the best seat in the Hall.

Adrian Quanjer[read full review]

Anna Fedorova - Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 1 (2020)


Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen, -

Cables: Van der Hul 3T
Editing Software: Pyramix Workstation / Merging Technologies
Mastering Engineer: Jared Sacks
Microphones: Bruel & Kjaer 4006, Schoeps
Producer: Jared Sacks
Recording Engineer: Jared Sacks
Recording location: Tonhalle Theatre St, Gallen, Switzerland
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DXD
Speakers: Grimm LS1

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This album is available as ST+MCH download (Stereo + Multichannel)
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Album Download duration price
42620: Anna Fedorova - Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 1
01:08:14   Select quality & channels above
Piano Concerto No. 1 - Vivace
00:14:14   N/A
Piano Concerto No. 1 - Andante
00:07:33   N/A
Piano Concerto No. 1 - Allegro vivace
00:08:30   N/A
Prelude Op. 23 - No. 1
00:03:39   N/A
Prelude Op. 32 - No. 12
00:02:33   N/A
Prelude Op. 32 - No. 5
00:03:16   N/A
Prelude Op. 32 - No. 2
00:03:26   N/A
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini - Intro - Variations 1-6
00:03:51   N/A
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini - Variations 7-10
00:03:21   N/A
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini - Variation 11
00:01:42   N/A
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini - Variations 12-15
00:03:57   N/A
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini - Variations 16-17
00:03:49   N/A
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini - Variation 18
00:02:52   N/A
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini - Variations 19-24
00:05:31   N/A

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