Claire Huangci stays romantic. After releasing her much praised album “A Chopin Diary” last year, she now devotes herself to another piano genius at the end of Romanticism: Sergej Rachmaninoff has not combined these magical 24 compositions in a unifying opus. He published the individual periods of almost 20 years between the first prelude and the next ten and finally thirteen preludes under three opus numbers. Within this great period of time, Rachmaninoff’s development can be listened to and experienced.
The young American pianist of Chinese descent, Claire Huangci, has also developed to an astonishing maturity from the 1990-born “Wunderkind”, who already gave respectable concerts at the age of nine. With her “glittering virtuosity, bright, alert interaction and subtle sound quality” (Salzburger Nachrichten), which was praised by critics, she not only played her way into the pianists’ Olympus with the Concours Géza Anda Zürich, but also took home the Mozart Prizedonated by the Musikkollegium Winterthur. Not even 30 years young, she is already one of the great pianists performing all over the world.
That she now dedicates herself to this climax of late romantic piano literature is daring and illustrates her consistent self-image with regard to pianistic performance but also to interpretative maturity. Because Rachmaninoff is highly controversial. While some love and even adore his depth of feeling, purists find his work “pompous”. But Claire never falls into the emotional trap and introduces us to Rachmaninoff as a character “with a symbiosis of modest purity and filigree virtuosity” in a new timbre. The recording inspires by unheard-of beauty, noble restraint and great chords. She reinvents Rachmaninoff – with incomparable refinement.
The album will be released on September 28th via Berlin Classics.