„I get very nervous when I am making records (...) when the stage is set for the final recording and I realise that this will remain for good, my hands get tense.“ No, this isn’t Claire Huangci, who recently recorded Sergei Rachmaninov’s complete piano preludes for Berlin Classics, but rather the Russian composer himself who admitted to nerves. One of the greatest pianists of his time, Rachmaninov made landmark recordings of both his own works and music by other composers, but always had a certain mistrust of sound recordings.Nearly a hundred years later, committing any works to disc still presents its own exciting challenges. This is especially true in the case of the preludes, which are not only technically difficult, but since many of the individual works are relatively unknown, the whole cycle has been rarely recorded in its entirety. Claire Huangci confirms this: “There are a couple of favourites which everybody knows, and everybody plays. These few preludes, which Rachmaninov recorded himself, overshadow the rest of the cycle. I find this a great pity – for me, there isn’t a single prelude that is a little sub-par. Every piece is simply so unique and a small masterpiece in its own right.”more
Claire Huangci: In the Studio with Rachmaninov
The Berliner Philharmonie is dedicating its Biennale to the composer from 9 to 26 February - in addition to major performances (including the rarely performed Requiem conducted by Sir Simon Rattle), Ligeti's life and work will be illuminated in an exhibition and a symposium including top-class master classes.