A couple of video blasts from Bronfman
Every time I hear Yefim Bronfman I find myself deeply impressed all over again.
His impassioned performance of Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 3 over the weekend with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has remained firmly in my ears. It was easily one of the best accounts I've heard live of that war horse, which, of course, is what I've thought whenever I have heard Bronfman play it live.
Although others tap into the score's softer, gentler side more effectively (I have particularly fond memories of Bruno Leonardo Gelber producing equal amounts of radiant lyricism and muscle power in performances of the work I heard during the 1990s in Florida), I love the way Bronfman gets such ...
viscerally exciting results in this concerto without ever slipping into empty show-off stuff.
Since encountering his talent the other day, I've been looking around YouTube for Bronfman goodies (that damn YouTube is addictive). So, especially for the benefit of those who missed Bronfman's Baltimore and Bethesda appearances with the BSO, here's a sweeping account of the finale of the Rachmaninoff Third, recorded at a concert in Japan the pianist gave with Gergiev and the Vienna Phil a few years ago.
The second clip contains his encores that night -- exquisitely nuanced Scarlatti and a superb delivery of Chopin's "Revolutionary" Etude (note the dynamic variation he achieves in that piece, where many a player sticks merely to pounding). The encore clip includes a whole lot of applause, so you'll want to do some fast-forwarding to get to the music.