performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Jascha Horenstein, Earl Wild, piano
This may not be the most popular version of the work, but it's the one I 'learned' this piece from; it's the one I came to love this piece as a result of, and no other performance compares. It may be a bit brisker than a few other interpretations, but it's perfect. These people knew what they were doing.
and this is a must-watch
This is an important piece. I'd been thinking what to post to mark the one year anniversary of our little site here (we weren't always at this location, but we are now), the end of September (9/29) marking a year since the first post. I mentioned all that above, but this was one of the first pieces I really started listening to after taking piano lessons. Prior to that, I'd been listening almost exclusively to the Chopin ballades and sonatas, as well as Schumann's piano sonatas. I asked my teacher for suggestions on what I should know and listen to, and she suggested Rachmaninoff's second and third concertos. I watched bits of Argerich's performance of the third on YouTube, but the recording I got hold of were Earl Wild's. I remember sitting on my couch listening to the third, kind of letting it wash over me with no real comprehension of it, except that the piano sounded very busy. I listened to it over and over and over again, and the second got into the mix, too. They quickly became favorites. I'd have lyrical bits of it stuck in my head or start humming a tune from somewhere in one of the two, and got familiar enough that I could keep playing the piece out in my head for long enough to identify which of the two it was.
They never really got old. I remember thinking that listening all the way through a 30-40 minute piece was kind of an arduous task, but I'd listen to it from beginning to end while walking my dog, and the more I listened, the shorter it seemed to get.
To commemorate an entire year of listening and writing (now so much more organized than back then), it came down to one of these two pieces. I decided on the second for two reasons: first, because they come in that order, and second, of the two, it's the one I had my heart set on learning to play in 15-20 years. I've tinkered those famously huge opening chords on the piano so many times.... So here it is, a piece I love and have been considering talking about for a year now, but figured.... It needed to wait. Here we are.
Having listened to it so many times, especially from a standpoint (back then) ignorant of form