Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto


Thursday 8th January 2015 at 7.30pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121 345 0600

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Alexander Vedernikov  conductor
Nikolai Lugansky  piano

Rachmaninov: Vocalise 6′
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 3 44′
Listen on Spotify

Tchaikovsky: Suite No. 3 41′

Nikolai Lugansky’s encore – Rachmaninov: Etude-Tableau Op.33 No.8

It’s been called the “Everest of piano concertos”, and it’s true – for difficulty, grandeur and pure heart-on-sleeve romance, Rachmaninov’s Third Concerto is hard to top. Nikolai Lugansky, an old friend here in Birmingham, takes on that challenge today, and former Bolshoi music director Alexander Vedernikov brings all his theatrical flair to Tchaikovsky’s delightful Third Suite – half ballet, half symphony: all Tchaikovsky.


Listen to the concert online here – BBC Radio 3 Live in Concert – available for four weeks

Support the CBSO


Review by Norman Stinchcombe, Birmingham Post:

Click here for full review

…     “He lavished care on the opening Elegie, the ballet-influenced melodies eliciting some sumptuous string playing led by Laurence Jackson who made a telling solo contribution later in the suite.

There was an aptly sinister edge to the Valse melancolique, with its bass line nagging away like a toothache – as disturbing as the sixth symphony’s limping waltz. The fourth movement’s variations were individually etched, with Sarah Harper’s cor anglais meltingly beautiful, with a roof-raising final Polonaise.

Nikolai Lugansky has recorded Rachmaninov’s third piano concerto with the CBSO and has performed at Symphony Hall to great acclaim – and he triumphed again.

The huge demands on the soloist were traversed by Lugansky with playing that was passionate but never hectoring, elegant but not over-cool and with a diamond-sharp precision that, especially in the cadenzas, had my head shaking in disbelief.”     …



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