Rachmaninov in Jūrmala

“Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto no. 3 in D minor is virtually the last, and one of the best, of all the great romantic piano concertos. Revisionist attempts to play down its unabashed emotion always seem to undersell the work. No chance of that with Yuja Wang and Zubin Mehta, performing for a large festival audience with many Russian visitors. From the opening of the Allegro ma non tanto this was an assured collaboration. Wang expertly inflected her opening statement of the first theme with only the subtlest touch of rubato. In the passagework between the first and second subjects, often heard as a routine bridge, Wang’s playing drew the attention with its glittering quicksilver lightness… Wang’s stunning playing of the big original cadenza seemed to inspire the wind players as it led into the softer section where the flute, oboe, clarinet and then horn restate the first theme, accompanied by ineffably delicate arpeggios from the soloist. Romance under a night sky (perfectly visible from this open air hall).”