Alexander Gavrylyuk and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Vladimir Jurowski perform Rachmaninoff’s grand Piano Concerto No. 3. You can watch the performance with or without Gavrylyuk’s commentary.
“I wrote it for elephants,” Sergei Rachmaninoff told Vladimir Horowitz, according to Horowitz, after hearing the younger pianist storm through his Third Piano Concerto, to his utter amazement (“He swallowed it whole!”). Of course, Rachmaninoff was speaking Russian, and in Russian the word for elephant (slon) conveys not ungainly heaviness but weightiness, which is a sort of grandeur. Therefore, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 is for heavyweights or better, for champs.
Alexander Gavrylyuk first appeared with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in 2010 in acclaimed performances of Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto under the direction of Mikhail Pletnev. In 1999, Gavrylyuk won first prize at the Vladimir Horowitz International Piano Competition for Young Pianists and, as the youngest participant, first prize at the Hamamatsu Competition a year later. The Ukrainian pianist has since triumphed in all the great concert halls. You can watch Gavrylyuk’s performance of Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto with or without commentary by the pianist himself.