In anticipation of NMB’s first concert of 2016, Riot Ensemble pianist Claudia Racovicean indulges us with her Top 5 piano-related Youtube treasures…

1. Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
This is one of my favourite pieces in all the repertoire, and Stephen Hough is one of my favourite pianists, from his wonderfully inviting introductions to his deep and exciting interpretations.  What more could you want?
2. Hugo Wolf Begegnung
One of the first times I collaborated with my husband was on these arrangements.  They are virtuosic and fun reimaginings of Wolf’s songs for solo pianist in the vein of Liszt’s transcriptions of Schubert.
3. Djuro Zivkovic I Shall Contemplate
I love working with composers on their pieces, and this was exactly the case when we gave the UK premiere of Djuro’s I Shall Contemplate in Oxford in 2014.  Djuro came over and we spent a number of hours working on the exact atmosphere, detailed pedaling and precise control of dynamics to achieve just the effect he wanted.  We just gave the London premiere of this piece at the Spitalfields Festival in December 2015!
4. Claude Debussy F’eux d’Artifce
This is one of my favourite of Debussy’s wonderful preludes.  My own recording will appear on my first album (April 2015, Coviello Classics) but I’ve been a fan of Marc-André Hamelin’s bold and colourful interpretations, and this one is no different!
5. Aaron Holloway-Nahum Remember Me? – Part IV for two toy pianos
As is often the case with my husband’s music, this piece (performed by the absolutely fantastic piano duo HOCKET in Los Angeles) manages to be fun without ever being flippant.  I really love the variety of sounds Aaron asks for, and the player’s total bravery and commitment in getting them out.  Perhaps one to perform with Adam Swayne someday!

Claudia Racovicean