"This was a performance of sensitivity, volatility and bravura. Mesmerizing playing from Mr. Bianconi."
Rachmaninoff Third Piano Concerto is a far cry from his Second, in that it is more complex and longer and demands greater concentration from both audience and performers. It is in no way of lightweight work yet for those willing to concentrate it yields a wealth of enjoyment and satisfaction and the VSO, JoAnn Falletta and Philippe Bianconi certainly delivered both with great gusto. This was definitely a performance of sensitivity, volatility and bravura.
The first movement introduced a most charming theme on the piano which is repeated regularly throughout. Arpeggios flowed from the soloist's hands like a cascading waterfall and the cadenza was a wonderful exhibition of exemplary technique and stamina. This was music of great stature with a majestic exuberance that belied the composer's bouts of insecurity. The second movement Intermezzo began with a glorious string introduction with mesmerizing playing from Mr. Bianconi which led to a scintillating finale brought to a conclusion with typical Rachmaninoff form and brought the capacity crowd instantly to its feet in rapturous and vociferous appreciation.
This was truly a grand start to what promises to be a grand new season.
Gloucester Gazette (Norfolk), Tomm Steele