Of all the works in the classical piano repertory, Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3 has perhaps one of the most fearsome reputations: it is a work of cruel and unusual technical difficulty. Feared and made famous through performers such as Joseph Hofmann and David Helfgott, the so-called “Rach 3″ has become darkly mythologised as one of the most difficult, even dangerous, pieces of piano music ever written.
So, what if a group of non-pianists, failed pianists and traumatised former child prodigies were challenged to play it publicly, entirely by sight-reading? Sarah-Jane Norman is joined by five other “post-virtuosic” pianists working in shifts to sight-read their way through this mammoth score in a gruelling 12-hour musical experiment.