Rachmaninov and Prokofiev are genius musical storytellers. Both have their own very personal and individual languages, and at the same time they are deeply rooted in the epic Russian tradition. When I immerse myself into their music, images of vast open spaces, Russian tales, folklore and even deft humor spring to my mind. While the Prokofiev Sonata has been on my concert programs for many years, I came relatively recent to the music of Rachmaninov. I always felt this music needed the right partnership in order to work, the piano part being both tremendously demanding and poetic at the same time. Andrej for me embodies all of those qualities, being a true champion of Rachmaninov’s music. Embarking with him on this journey of core Russian repertoire has been so rewarding for me, and I am incredibly proud of our collaboration and the result you have on this new PENTATONE recording.