Podcast: ‘Rach 3’. The Mount Everest of piano concertos.

Raymond Bisha helps turn the pages of Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto, following the release of Boris Giltburg’s fine performance of the work with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto. Noted for its length and technical difficulty, ‘Rach 3’ (its popular moniker) is reckoned to have more notes than all of Mozart’s Read More …

Concerto superbo!

At the time of sitting down to write this edition of Thought for the Week, I decided to consult the Naxos monthly bestsellers  lists and consider writing a retrospective about our 2017 market leaders. While reviewing the January-October rankings, two things stood out. First, in no fewer than three of those months, the bestselling release Read More …

Podcast: Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto

Raymond Bisha introduces Boris Giltburg’s latest album of music by Sergei Rachmaninov that features the Études-tableaux Op. 33 and his ever-popular Piano Concerto No. 2. The latter charts a dramatic course: from the passion, darkness and pain of the first movement, through the dreamy idyll of the second, to the unequivocal victory of the finale. Read More …

Podcast: Shostakovich. 2 popular piano concertos. 1 new transcription.

Time and again, Dmitri Shostakovich deftly managed to dodge the artistic bullet when it came to the expected political conformity of the day. His two piano concertos bear his distinctive musical voice, despite Soviet diktats. Cheeky banter and effervescence characterise the works, offset by a sublime movement in the second concerto that soloist Boris Giltburg Read More …

Podcast: In two minds

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the piano music of Robert Schumann was under-appreciated—viewed as bitty, light and flighty, more like parlour music fare. But today it’s recognised as some of the most creative and original piano music ever composed. To Schumann, music represented a state of mind where mood, atmosphere, colour and Read More …