Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2
American Record Guide
Pletnev's performance is characterized by relatively discreet emotionalism, stronger forward momentum and a fanatical preoccupation with clarity of articulation. It scarcely matters that his winds display an individuality which once or twice fails to transcend mere rawness - so much the better in this music!
...superbly disciplined, faultlessly played and breathtakingly beautiful. It goes to the top of an already impressive list.
... Mikhail Pletnev's achievement is to make us hear the music afresh. ... The extraordinary delicacy of the strings skittering into play at the start of the exposition proper is a miracle of control, ... the development is as passionate and driven as anyone could wish. ... The most remarkable playing comes in the finale, often bringing to mind the orchestra's staggering display in the third movement of Tchaikovsky's Pathetique on its debut release (Virgin Classics, 1/92). The lyrical effusions are superbly characterized without undermining the sense of inexorability, the climaxes not just powerful but affecting too. The closing pages bring a rush of adrenalin of the kind rarely experienced live, let alone in the studio. This is great music-making. ... The fabulous delicacy ... is alone worth the price of admission.