Brahms: Piano Concerto no. 1 Minnesota Orchestra Conductor: Osmo Vänskä
Piano Concerto No. 1
The Rite of Spring
Say it like this: Rafał Blechacz = “RAH-fal BLEH-hahsh”
Blechacz won the 2014 Gilmore Prize, which is a little like a visit from Tinkerbell and her fairy dust. There is no actual competition, and a pianist doesn’t learn he or she is even under consideration from the anonymous judges—until the phone rings informing the stunned pianist of the $300,000 award.
Rafał Blechacz is getting a PhD in philosophy in his native Poland.
Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 started out as a piece for two pianos alone, then morphed into a big four-movement symphony with no piano part, then settled into a three-movement piece for piano and orchestra with Brahms ready to give it up in frustration at several points along the way.
Pianists routinely rank the Brahms Concerto as the hardest thing they’ll ever play—and audiences think of it as an absolute favorite.