Leonard Bernstein playing Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G while conducting the orchestra from the keyboard. He was a renowned musician of the 20th century, known not only for his conducting, but also for his piano performances, lectures, and compositions.
Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G-Major is heavily influenced by the jazz music popular in the late 1920s-early 1930s.
mvmt I – Allegramente
mvmt II – Adagio assai
mvmt III – Presto
Today I’ve chosen Martha Argerich’s 1982 performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.3 in d-minor, Op. 30. Composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff in 1909, it is considered among the most technically demanding pieces written for classical piano repertoire.
Like in the previous post, Argerich rose to fame when she also won the International Chopin Piano Competition, at age 24, in 1964.
Sergei Rachmaninoff, Piano Concerto No.3 in d-minor, Op.30
conductor, Riccardo Chailly; orchestra: Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin 00:30 – movement I: Allegro ma non tanto; (Full: pg.1/ Red: pg. 2) 16:25 – movement II: Intermezzo: Adagio; (44/34) 27:29 – movement III: Finale: Alla breve (65/47)
This recording is epic enough to open up the first listening post for our blog! This is Yundi Li’s performance at the International Chopin Competition–a very high-stakes piano competition; one of the most prestigious competitions in the world of music. At 18 years of age, Yundi is the youngest person to win the competition as of now (he is now 29).
Listening to this is not only inspirational, but they also have video of him playing to go along with it too! It is breathtaking to see how his hands deftly dance over the key tops and how they seem to summon such lyrical, even-toned playing on what is–at the end of the day–a percussive instrument.
I have provided the timestamps for when each piece approximately begins, and a link to the score so you may print it out and follow along or try to play it yourself! ALSO: the second video that is linked is a fixed-camera view of Only Yundi’s hands. Great stuff if you’re intent on focusing on his hand technique!
2:06 – Frédéric Chopin; Scherzo No. 2 Op. 31, in B-flat minor [score]