Marc-André Hamelin (piano), Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Ilan Volkov (conductor)
The Reger concerto has a formidable reputation—dense, harmonically complex and with far too many notes for the average pianist. Who better then to decipher it than Marc-André Hamelin? In his hands this rarely recorded behemoth reveals both passion and a lyricism so often lost in lesser performances. He is wonderfully partnered by Ilan Volkov and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester who share the pianist’s desire to elucidate an often misunderstood work.
While the Reger concerto comes from the end of his career, the Strauss Burleske is a product of that composer’s prodigious youth. This ebullient work has long been a Hamelin ‘party-piece’, and he plays it with an unmatched brilliance which surely captures the essence of this humorous music and will have the listener on the edge of his seat.