I was totally going to bed early(ish) tonight… And then, the BBC Young Musician of the Year Final, which I recorded a couple of weeks ago and which I had playing in the background reached the moment when the baby pianist came on to the stage and started playing Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.
Holy Romantic Pianists, Batman!
So, not going to bed. I mean, this kid is something else.
This piece of music has been my favourite since 1992, when tiny ten-year old me heard it, in full, for the first time when Freddy Kempf played it in the final of the BBC Young Musician of the Year… There’s just this magic about the way the piano dances with the orchestra and there’s no moment where you could tell the orchestra to trot off for a cuppa while the soloist gets on with it, because they’re always together all the way through. I could hum it in my sleep and not get it wrong, Variation 12 (at about the 8 minute mark of the piece) will probably kill me on the day I actually hear it performed live.
And this kinda blew my tiny mind.