“Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto is one of the greatest pieces of music ever written. No matter how often it's played, the opening theme still takes my breath away – the music's tremendous struggle and passion, and its sheer presence onstage are exhilarating and awe-inspiring. Yet this is just the beginning of a concerto which gives us one highlight after another, interspersing the virtuosity and emotional charge with so much lyricism and light. In contrast to the concerto's lush orchestration, the Études-tableauxOp. 33 are leaner and more muscular. Like stories in miniature, they are varied, full of imagination and teeming with colour. Completing the CD are two encores – Rachmaninov’s arrangement of Liebesleid by Fritz Kreisler, and the witty, quirky Polka de W.R., based on his father’s favourite tune.”
Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 is one of the most passionate and beloved concertos in the repertoire, its lyricism and virtuosity charting a trajectory from darkness through idyll to dazzling triumph. The Études-tableaux, Op. 33 are richly characterised musical evocations, expressive and often explosive, that reflect a more angular, modern aspect.
Listen to an extract from Piano Concerto No. 2:
III. Allegro scherzando
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About the artists
Boris Giltburg took first prize at the 2013 Queen Elisabeth Competition, having won second prize at the Rubinstein in 2011 and top prize at Santander back in 2002, and subsequently appearing across the globe. Notable debuts have included a South American tour in 2002 (and every season since), with the Israel Philharmonic in 2005, the Indianapolis Symphony in 2007, a tour of China in 2007, and at the BBC Proms in London in 2010. In 2014 he began a long-term recording plan with Naxos.
Carlos Miguel Prieto is the leading Mexican conductor of his generation. Prieto was appointed music director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México in 2007, and of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería in 2008. He is also in great demand as a guest conductor with many of North America’s top orchestras including the Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Toronto and Houston symphony orchestras, as well as European orchestras.
The Royal Scottish National Orchestra was formed in 1891 as the Scottish Orchestra and became the Scottish National Orchestra in 1950. It was awarded Royal Patronage in 1977. The RSNO has a worldwide reputation for the quality of its recordings, receiving two Diapason d’Or de l’année awards for Symphonic Music (Denève/Roussel 2007; Denève/Debussy 2012) and eight GRAMMY® Awards nominations over the last decade.
“… dazzling new performances of Shostakovich’s two piano concertos … Giltburg matched by superlative playing from the strings of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic under the sympathetic direction of Vasily Petrenko.”
– Financial Times
Listen to an extract from
Piano Concerto No. 1:
IV. Allegro con brio
“The [Sonata No. 32 in C Minor] really seems to fire both the pianist’s imagination and his playing with a powerful mix of astounding technique, gripping drama, and interpretive insight … This is great pianism and great Beethoven playing at its very best.”
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