Rachmaninoff was inspired by the same theme as Lutoslawski, turning it into a large,
ebullient work using his usual luxuriant orchestration. After a playful bustling introduction sketching the theme’s outlines, his 24 variations cover a tremendous range of moods from introspective to triumphantly romantic. The piano and the orchestra chase each other, reflect each other and support each other with inexhaustible invention. There’s plenty of room for piano fireworks, and Rachmaninoff even finds a way to weave in his favourite Dies Irae theme.
Michael Fowler Centre