In his final year as BBC Philharmonic’s Chief Conductor, Juanjo Mena completes a highly acclaimed Ginastera series with this third volume.
After a year off the concert platform, Xiayin Wang, a specialist in the romantic repertoire, presents a new recording of two relatively little-played piano concertos: No. 2 by Tchaikovsky, in its much lesser known yet extremely virtuosic original version, and Khachaturian’s. The disc also marks the 125th anniversary of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, here conducted by its Music Director, Peter Oundjian.
Xiayin Wang presents her second disc of piano works by Rachmaninoff, playing the two piano sonatas alongside three of the Op. 23 Preludes. She impressed with the first volume, Gramophone remarking that it featured ‘playing of an awesome clarity and poise’ (Gramophone Choice).
With her winning combination of consummate technical brilliance, fine musicianship, and personal verve, the pianist Xiayin Wang captures the hearts of audiences wherever she appears. She is achiving high levels of recognision for her commanding performances as a recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestral soloist in such venues as New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. This is Wang’s second disc for Chandos Records. Her previous disc, of piano works by Earl Wild, was an ‘International Piano Choice’ in International Piano.
Samuel Barber, sticking broadly to the European concerto format and ethos, produced a three-movement work that in many respects is gestural, with, as is revealed in the beautiful slow movement, the sheer gorgeousness of which he was capable in composition. Aaron Copland's short concerto, on the other hand, embraces the full jazz idiom and is a blazing masterpiece that should be played more often in concert. And, coming from the other end and in a different direction, we have George Gershwin, getting his inimitable style and memorable tunes into the brilliant and breezy classical format of his Piano Concerto, breathtakingly played by Wang and the RSNO, an orchestra clearly comfortable in the idiom.