Rachmaninov's piano works, and in particular his Second Piano Concerto, have fired the enthusiasm of music lovers throughout the world. Dedicated to the psychologist Dr. Nikolai Dahl who had cured the composer of depression, the Second Piano Concerto was given it's premiere in Moscow on 10 November 1901 with Rachmaninov himself at the piano and has proved itself to be one of the most successful of it's genre among Russian piano repertory. The introduction itself with it's powerful sequence of chords rivets the audience's attention and makes each and every listener eager to hear what is yet to come. Katchen's interpretation is particularly impressive for it's austere and powerful introduction, but the lyrical passages too - superabundant in this work - are filled with a delightful, dreamy lightness. Tchaikovsky's influence, a Russian soulfulness, and a certain melancholic yearning in the opulent melodies - all are brilliantly portrayed by the pianist. And he finds an ideal partner in the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Georg Solti. Solti proves yet again that he is a master of phrasing and interwoven part-writing; resolutely, with elegance and sharply pointed rhythm, he leads the soloist and orchestra to a brilliant finish..
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