A while back, I went to the final of the Dublin International Piano Competition, an item which along with figure skating championships had been on my bucket list for about 10 years. While it is fair to say that the finalists were all very talented, I wasn’t so enthused about the choice of concertos I sat through that evening. In summary, we had Tchaikovsky No 1 twice, Rachmaninov No 3 and what I think was Prokofiev No 3 although I am not familiar with that piece and it didn’t endear itself to me enough for me to seek it out any further.
So, bearing that in mind, I wanted to – again – list a bunch of piano concertos which I particularly like, some of which are well known and some less so. After that I would choose a couple of movements out of piano concertos which are almost standalone work of genius.
- Saint-Saens Number 5
- Rachmaninov No. 2
- Grieg in Am
- Schumann in Am
- Bruch in A flat Major for 2 pianos
- Hummel No 3
- Tchaikovsky No 2
- Beethoven’s Mighty Emperor No 5
- Liszt No 2
- Brahms No 2.
If I am looking to listen to powerful piano music, these are often close to the top of the list.
Now for a few odds and ends which stand out for various reasons
- Shostakovich 2, II Andante.
- Adinsell – Warsaw Concerto
- Ode to the Yellow River (get Lang Lang’s performance of this – it’s well worth it)
- Saint-Saens Africa Fantasy
- Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
- Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody arranged for piano and orchestra
- Rachmaninov 3 Opening movement
- Mendelssohn 1, opening movement
- Mendelssohn for 2 pianos 1, second movement
- Franck – Symphonic Variations