I am listening to album “Rachmaninoff 150” by Kirill Gerstein this week. Released in 2023, “Rachmaninoff 150” is a tribute album to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s birth. The album features pianist Kirill Gerstein performing Rachmaninoff’s works, including his Piano Concerto No. 3 and a selection of solo piano pieces.
Gerstein’s performance of the Piano Concerto No. 3 is particularly noteworthy. The concerto is notoriously difficult, requiring virtuosic technique and musical sensitivity, and Gerstein rises to the challenge admirably. His playing is both technically precise and emotionally expressive, capturing the full range of the concerto’s moods, from its brooding opening to its triumphant finale.
The solo piano pieces are also well-executed, with Gerstein showcasing his musicality and sensitivity to Rachmaninoff’s idiosyncratic style. Highlights include the Prelude in G-sharp minor and the Étude-Tableau in E-flat minor.
The album is well-produced, with clear, balanced sound that showcases both the piano and the orchestral accompaniment. The liner notes are informative and well-written, providing context and background for the pieces and the composer.
Overall, “Rachmaninoff 150” is a strong album that will appeal to fans of Rachmaninoff’s music and piano enthusiasts. Gerstein’s virtuosic playing and nuanced interpretation make for a compelling listening experience.