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Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto no.1 begins with unabashed showmanship, as a vehicle for Rachmaninov’s own accomplished skill at the piano. The young composer seems only too keen to dazzle with virtuoso passages in the outer movements, while the introspective Andante cantabile remains one of his most beautiful yet relatively unappreciated melodies.
This is a relatively playful work, sowing the seeds of a passionate musical intensity that was to burst forth over the years to come.
Furthermore, Piano Concerto no.3 was composed in 1909 – a full nine years after the premiere of his Piano Concerto No.2. The Third is grander, fuller, and more expansive in tone and style – with the soloist stretched to the very limits of his or her ability.
Performed by Vladimir Ashkenazy, Bernard Haitink & Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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