Liszt’s First Piano Concerto is a heck of a piece. Like any Liszt work, there’s the sheer physical challenge of the piano part, but the soloist here really has to work with the orchestra – I can’t help but feel like there are some well-known piano concerti (let’s not name any names, though…) where the orchestral part is really just marking time for a few more flourishes and arpeggios from the soloist. Here, there’s less of the pianistic grandstanding that’s so tempting to associate with Liszt, and much more of a team effort between the soloist and orchestra.

Breathtaking Tchaikovsky QSO

Konstantin Shamray’s virtuoso credentials are very impressive (winner of the Sydney International Piano Competition in 2008, for instance, plus an enviable collection of chamber collaborations), so it’s no surprise that his Liszt felt comfortable and secure. The first movement’s orchestral opening came in powerfully, and Shamray’s introductory octave reply had some serious intensity. In the delicate second movement, Shamray’s clean separation of parts between the hands was lovely, and...