Internationally celebrated concert pianist Artur Pizarro returns to St. John’s, Smith Square (London) on Wednesday 24th September 2014 at 7.30pm, to continue his survey of the complete Rachmaninoff works for solo piano. Six concerts have been scheduled throughout 2014 and there are three remaining (the other two will take place on Wednesday 19th November and Wednesday 10th December).
Having attended two of the earlier recitals in this series, I can confirm these concerts feature piano playing of the very highest calibre and musical integrity, and they also represent a fascinating journey, illuminating the works of one of the greatest pianist/composers to have ever lived.
Rachmaninoff’s piano works are ever popular, but most well-known are those for piano and orchestra. The solo works are generally less familiar, with many infrequently played. So it’s a wonderful treat to hear them in all their glory, from very early pieces, such as the 5 Morceaux de fantaisie Op. 3, to the later Variations on a Theme of Corelli Op. 42 and marvellous collections of Etude-Tableaux (Op. 33 and 39). Rachmaninoff’s wonderfully complex, rich, and sumptuous piano writing is heard throughout each and every piece; his style is clearly identifiable.
Artur (pictured above) says of his series: “Playing the complete solo piano works of Rachmaninoff is a task worthy of many sleepless nights! As a pianist you have to accept the sheer physical and technical demands that such an undertaking represents. The sheer beauty of Rachmaninoff’s musical invention more than justifies the commitment to performing the complete solo cycle. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of immersing myself in that world for however long the preparation of this project would take. I am so excited at the opportunity to share all that beauty, both musical and emotional, with an audience”.
The programme on Wednesday features: 10 Preludes Op. 23, Song without words in D minor (1886-7), 2 Pieces Op. 2, 4 Improvisations in collaboration with Arensku, Taneyer and Glasunor (c.1896-7), Canon in E minor (c.1889-92) and the 5 Morceaux de fantaisie Op. 3. Artur can also be heard on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune this afternoon between 17.45 pm and 18.15 pm.
Enjoy my recent interview with Artur here:
For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my piano course, Play it again: PIANO (published by Schott Music). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, the course features a large collection of progressive, graded piano repertoire from approximately Grade 1 to advanced diploma level, with copious practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.
You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.