Piano Concertos by Rachmaninoff and Hummel
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Piano Concertos By Rachmaninoff & Hummel
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Sergei Rachmaninoff was among the greatest pianists and composers of his generation and his Piano Concerto No. 2 has remained one of the most popular and challenging works for pianists worldwide. The première was given by the Moscow Philharmonic on 27th October 1901, featuring Rachmaninoff himself at the piano and it immediately won public enthusiasm. His reputation as a pianist soared and the triumph led to an American tour and the composition of several larger scale works, including another two piano concertos.
In contrast, Johann Hummel, who experienced a considerably less turbulent career than Rachmaninoff, preferred the lighter toned Viennese style. His developments in the art of piano playing may arguably have contributed to the techniques that Rachmaninoff employed some thirty years later.
Following his tour of 1822, Hummel found himself drawing on Russian influences and his Rondo Brilliant is a souvenir dedicated to Princess Gertchakoff which incorporates a Russian folk song. The variation and the rondo were forms Hummel particularly enjoyed and this rarely recorded work is a perfect example.
"an impeccable technician and left no doubt that 18th-century music is her comfortable speciality." -- L.A.Times
"sheer enjoyment in music making projected in every performance .a true artist doing what she does best." -- Musical Opinion, Sept/Oct 2003