Lukáš Vondráček, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Tomáš Brauner
Rachmaninoff: Complete Piano Concertos, Paganini Rhapsody
Catalogue Number: SU 4323-2
Published: 24th March 2023
Format: 2 CD
Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873–1943) – Piano Concertos: No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 1 (1891, rev. 1917); No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 (1901); No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30 (1909); No. 4 in G minor, Op. 40 (1926). Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Op. 43 (1934)
Lukáš Vondráček – piano, Prague Symphony Orchestra, conductor: Tomáš Brauner
Lukáš Vondráček and Sergei Rachmaninoff. Scarcely do we encounter a connection between a musician and a composer so close, strong and energising. When, at the age of 15, Vondráček was invited by Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Czech Philharmonic to perform Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 1, he had garnered international acclaim at numerous concerts and competitions. Just a year later, the pianist toured the USA and appeared at Carnegie Hall. At the age of 29, he triumphed at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels (2016), performing Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3, conducted by Marin Alsop. Love at first listen, Rachmaninoff has become his flagship composer: “Besides affording the opportunity to showcase one’s technique, his music impresses by being contrastive and having an immense dynamic range … What more could a person keen on tone colour wish? It’s sheer beauty!” Lukáš Vondráček has been invited to perform Rachmaninoff’s concertos by the most prominent orchestras and conductors worldwide. The present album is one of the few sweet fruits of the Covid pandemic, which cleared the soloist’s otherwise jam-packed diary and afforded him peaceful time for recording. The booklet contains an interview with Lukáš Vondráček, within which he provides an account of his ample experience of and great affinity to Rachmaninoff. Yet the most powerful confession is the recording itself, made with the superb Prague Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Tomáš Brauner, capturing performances rendering every detail, teeming with emotion, colour and contrast. Sheer beauty indeed!
Rachmaninoff in Lukáš Vondráček’s hands. A lavish musical feast.