To call this masterwork a delight is to damn it with the faintest of praise and make a meaningless nonsense of the word.

A few years ago, the Spectator described Sokolov as “the greatest living pianist”, someone who “manages to do things with a piano that should be categorized under ‘not humanly possible’.”

On this evidence they are quite clearly correct.

I was playing this one night while doing that ridiculous non-achieving nonsense called ‘multi-tasking’. I was smitten from the opening stanza such was the lightness and delicacy of the playing. As is always the case with ‘multi-tasking’ I soon drifted off to perform all my ‘tasks’ with the usual lack of attention to detail that comes with the territory while every so often I’d exclaim with pleasure at some extraordinary moment during the recital.

The clincher came towards the end of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor op. 30 – Finale, when I became more than vaguely aware that something close to a musical orgasm was taking place on my stereo system. I stopped what I was ‘not’ doing (multi-tasking) and sat back in awe and finally exploded along with the crowd as this giant of the piano produced a climax like few others I’ve ever experienced. And you know what I did next don’t you?

Yep, I went back and played the last movement again.

And still struggled to believe my ears. It’s simply astounding.

So go ahead. Be astounded. Astonished, struggle to believe your ears, bemoved to tears whatever, just treat yourself and those you love to some of the finest music you and they will ever be privileged to hear for the entire duration of your time on this planet.

And if the piece in question leaves you cold may I suggest you stop listening to music altogether and perhaps occupy yourself with something more mundane that requires no empathy, feeling or emotional involvement. May I suggest watching paint dry perhaps? Or ‘reality’ TV? Or any one of the dreadful ‘talent’ shows that clog up the airwaves and your grey matter.

This is genius. Pure, simple, transcendental genius.

And this is a hype-free review I promise…….here’s a completely unrelated piece that will give you an idea of what I’m talking about.


And now you’ve been suitably gob-smacked go online or anywhere and buy yourself a copy of his amazing Mozart & Rachmaninov Piano Concertos on the Deutsche Grammophon label. It’s the one with the DVD documentary ‘A Conversation That Never Was’. I found a UPC # 00028947970163.


Mozart Rachmaninov Concertos
(Deutsche Grammophon, 2017)

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About The Author

Collaborator - RREVERB

Gary’s been listening to music since the 60’s and has the scars to prove it. Failed dalliance’s with violins and guitars couldn’t stop him fronting the Punk band Moscow and being spat on by 2000 Welsh punks in the summer of 1977 while supporting John Peel faves The Motors at Cardiff Top Rank. He spent 15 years selling some of the finest music by some of the best musicians in the world.