Alexander Gavrylyuk made his acclaimed first appearance with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in May 2010 performing Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto. He has since been invited to return to the orchestra several times to tackle other technically demanding piano concertos by Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev. The master pianist now turns his attention to Schumann’s only fully fledged piano concerto.
It took Schumann years to complete the work. But with its stormy outer movements and lyrical middle movement as the lifeblood of the work, it quickly grew to become one of the most popular piano concertos of all time.
Equally romantic is Tchaikovsky’s rarely heard Manfred Symphony. Basing his multi-movement symphony on a poem by Lord Byron, Tchaikovsky followed a trend started by Hector Berlioz. He had great difficulty slavishly following the literary programme, however. But like Tchaikovsky’s other symphonies, it did eventually become a very personal work full of warm melodies and passionate, changing moods.