Yesterday I heard pianist Mikhail Pletnev play the Rhapsody on A theme by Paganini. This is such a well-known piece, yet it always grabs my attention.
Other selections are combined on the same recording to give us the following:
Piano Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 1
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43
Performed by Mikhail Pletnev (piano), with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Libor Pešek conducting.
Pletnev has amazing virtuosity and tonal sensitivity. This seems to push the music close to an interpretative meltdown. And that’s why I like it!
Here is Mr. Pletnev performing the Rhapsody with the Berlin Philharmonic: