Thursday 18 December 1997
Thanks to Shine, everyone knows about "Rach 3" and its place at the pinnacle of the piano concerto repertoire due to its enormous technical demands. This is not a work for pianists with small hands or imaginations. David Helfgott himself has been playing it on a fiercely emotional world tour, but for those who have stayed away for fear of a fan event rather than a purely musical experience, Leif Ove Andsnes has arrived to play this titanic, romantic glory. Conductor Tadaaki Otaka makes his concert debut with the LSO and they will also play Rachmaninov's 2nd Symphony. If you thought the piano concerto was lush, listen to this. If he'd been born later, Rachmaninov would have written endless film scores. As it was, the theme music for the 1970s TV series Love for Lydia bore a startling resemblance to the symphony's astonishingly heart-on-sleeve second movement.
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