Vitaly Pisarenko Rachmaninoff 3rd piano concerto

Vitaly Pisarenko’s triumph with Rach 3 at the RCM today . It was almost 50 years ago since I heard the much publicised debut of an 18 year old John Lill at the RCM in this same work with the student orchestra under Sir Adrian Boult. The work was that was then considered the almost impossibly difficult Rachmaninov third piano concerto. I spent most of my after school time at the free concerts offered by the RCM . The much publicised film Shine was based on this very debut of John Lill. Confusing David Helfgott with John Lill .And Angus Morrison his teacher with the much more well known Cyril Smith . So it was with great nostalgia that I returned today to hear this young virtuoso in the same work.A work that has become almost standard repertoire for most advanced students these days. But can this concerto have ever received such an impassioned and involved performance as today.Only once have I heard a similar participation and that was with Vitalys teacher,Dmitri Alexeev in Rome thirty years ago with the radio orchestra . Maybe now Vitaly could take more time and let the impassioned lines stand in their own noble space.But one must note he was not helped by an orchestra that was obviously not used to playing with an artist of this calibre and sounded as though they needed to listen more attentively to the lesson that was lain before them by this remarkable young musician. However a roar of approval justly greeted this remarkable performance. Beseeched for an encore ,that was understandably not conceded, as he had given this performance absolutely every ounce of energy and concentration that he could muster. Next time,dear Vitaly, for this is just the thrilling beginning to an illustrious career as was John Lill all those years ago.


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