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Rubinstein: Piano Concerto No. 4; Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme of Paganini
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This disc marks the recording debut of a remarkable 15-year-old Russian/American pianist, Natasha Parermski. Her performances, particularly of the seldom-recorded Rubinstein concerto, are a very welcome addition to the Bel Air label - which often features great Romantic piano repertoire played by young prize-winning Russian pianists. When the recordings were made in Moscow this spring, both the sound engineers and orchestral players (usually amongst the most cynical of critics) were astounded at the musicality, virtuosity and authority someone so youthful brought to this technically demanding, bravura repertoire.
Natasha Paremski was born in Moscow in May, 1987 and began her piano studies there at the age of four. In 1995 her family emigrated to the United States (her father works in the IT industry in Freemont, California) where she is currently taught by Earl Wild and Oxana Yablonskaya (whose son Dmitry conducts this recording). She has won prizes in many piano competitions in America, Canada, Argentina and Italy. Earlier this year she was awarded an educational scholarship at the London International Piano Competition.
Here she couples works by two Russian composers who were amongst the leading pianists of their day, usually writing pieces to display their own virtuosity on tours abroad. However, while Sergei Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini remains one of the most popular of all pieces for piano and orchestra, Anton Rubinstein's concertos are little played nowadays outside Russia. The Piano Concerto No. 4, probably the best known and certainly the most successful of his five such works, dates from the 1870s and is reminiscent both of Tchaikovsky (whom Rubinstein taught) and of Saint-Saens' Second Piano Concerto (which the composer premiered in 1868 with his friend Anton Rubinstein conducting).
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