Star pianist Lang Lang joins star conductor Valery Gergiev and the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre to perform two star-making works of the piano and orchestra repertoire: Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2 and the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Both works contain themes that are very familiar to many. The third movement of the Concerto contains the "Full Moon and Empty Arms" theme, while the Rhapsody has the romantic 18th variation that is frequently heard in film soundtracks, most famously Somewhere in Time. The real attraction here, however, is the combination of two spectacular musicians who each have their own following and their own distinct style of interpretation. Lang Lang is known for being highly individual and subjective, and Gergiev is known for his attention to detail and the vitality of his readings. The resulting combination here is guaranteed to be unique and, at times, surprising.
AllMusic Review by Patsy Morita
|Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18|
|Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (Introduction and 24 Variations), for piano & orchestra in A minor, Op. 43|