Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor Op. 30

III. Finale. Alla breve

  • Recorded: 1st January 2022
  • Record Place: unknown
  • First Release: 2022
  • (P) 2022 SUPRAPHON a.s.
  • Genre: Orchestral


  • music by: Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff
  • piano: Lukáš Vondráček
  • conductor: Tomáš Brauner
  • musical group: Prague Symphony Orchestra


Lukáš Vondráček, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Tomáš Brauner

Rachmaninoff: Complete Piano Concertos, Paganini Rhapsody

Catalogue Number: SU 4323-2
Published: 24th March 2023
Genre: Orchestral
Format: 2 CD
This album has received following awards:
  • CD of the Week, Radio Klara (2023)
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.


“These performances, recorded during lockdown in Prague, prove to be every bit as exciting… As with the finest Rachmaninov interpreters, Vondráček brings a wealth of colour to the solo part, paying exemplary attention to high lighting polyphonically interesting inner parts in the composer’s so­metimes texturally involved writing. Most importantly, he has a clear view of the emotional trajectory of each work, exploiting to the full its contrasting moods of melancholy, grotesquerie, nostalgia and exultation. The Prague Symphony Orchestra under Tomáš Brauner establish a formidable partnership with Vondráček, responding incisively to every twist and turn in his playing.”
BBC Music Magazine, May 2023

“He inspires not only our admiration but our respect, and I’d place his playing of these mighty works alongside performances by Giltburg, Pletnev and others. The excellent recordings have plenty of presence.”
Rob Cowan's Blog, May 2023

“Chaque concerto est individualisé, le Premier flamboyant, athlétique (Vondráček m’y rappelle Sergio Fiorentino, mêmes tempos, mêmes accents, même furia débordante dans le Finale), le Deuxième lyrique et sombre jusque dans un Finale incendiaire, et le Troisième telle une immense rhapsodie où la poésie alterne avec des échappées épiques : soudain le piano devient un instrument au sein de l’orchestre, Vondráček et Brauner le pensent non plus comme un concerto, mais comme une symphonie.”
Artalinna, June 2023

“Das Orchester aus Prag ist perfekt auf diese Werke eingestellt, kann mit Transparenz die Ideen des Komponisten zum Leuchten bringen. Man spürt die Hingabe, mit der Vondráček all seine Energie in diese Interpretationen gibt, sich geradezu verausgabt, ohne dabei müde zu werden… Vondráček vermag immer wieder zu erstaunen, wagt er sprunghafte Wechsel der Dynamik und des Charakters und findet zu einer so lebendigen Interpretation, so dass man diese Gesamteinspielung sicherlich problemlos eine neue Referenz nennen kann.”
Piano News, April 2023

“Vondráček favours broader tempi and plenty of introspection in Concertos 2 and 3, nicely matched by Tomáš Brauner’s Prague Symphony Orchestra. Supraphon’s re­cording balance has a very realistic concert-hall feel, the dynamic range wide. Vondráček’s di­alogues with the orchestral winds are well-judged, with a charismatic principal clarinet in Concerto No. 2’s slow movement. No. 3 shares similar virtues, its central; ‚Intermezzo‘ sweetly flowing before a finale which takes time to build up steam but hits the heights in the closing minutes. I’m more and more intrigued by Concertos 1 and 4, particularly the latter’s edgy, brittle brilliance.”
The Arts Desk, September 2023

“Mais c’est dans la narration exaltée du Concerto no 3 que le pianiste tchèque se montre à son meilleur, la prise de son restituant la moindre inflexion de ce contour sûr de ses effets. Sans conteste, le sommet du double album.”
Diapason, October 2023

“On ne peut qu’admirer dans le Concerto n° 3 avec quelle subtilité Vondráček enrichit la polyphonie en soignant les nuances et en rehaussant certaines voix médianes… La pyrotechnie est en revanche synonyme d’inventivité dans une Rhapsodie sur un thème de Paganini des plus réjouissantes ! Bravo au symphonique de Prague dont les timbres se marient idéalement au piano si orchestral de son soliste.”
Classica, November 2023

“If Rachmaninoff is like warm bathwater to you, Vondráček will raise whitecaps in your tub. That edginess, however, is tempered by the pianist’s ability to play not just with force, but also with extreme delicacy and clarity. His trigger reflexes allow him to adjust dynamics, tone color, and tempo as quickly as it comes to mind. His is a brilliant, gleaming sound that continues to glow hotly even in the music’s more relaxed moments… No matter whose recordings you already know and love, I encourage you to give Vondráček a try. A “once in thirty years” pianist? Time will tell, but on the basis of this release it could be so.”
Fanfare, January 2024

CD 1

Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff
Piano Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor Op. 1
1. I. Vivace 12:38
2. II. Andante 06:49
3. III. Allegro vivace 08:18
Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff
Piano Concerto No. 4 in G minor Op. 40
4. I. Allegro vivace 09:36
5. II. Largo 07:07
6. III. Allegro vivace 09:37
Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini Op. 43
7. Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini Op. 43 24:08

CD 2

Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor Op. 18
1. I. Moderato 11:09
2. II. Adagio sostenuto 12:11
3. III. Allegro scherzando 12:09
Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff
Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor Op. 30
4. I. Allegro ma non tanto 17:56
5. II. Intermezzo. Adagio 11:04
6. III. Finale. Alla breve 15:11

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