[…] a series of seven programs that Sir Simon Rattle made for television in the 1990s. Leaving Home is an historical journey through the radical changes in music that coincided with the tremendous social, technological and political upheaval that was the twentieth century. Artfully scripted, and with excellent musical examples, these fifty-minute programs integrate history (by means of some nicely chosen archival film footage), lecture (with Sir Simon speaking and illustrating from the keyboard) and performance, (with Sir Simon on the podium.)
Rachmaninov's opus 1, his first piano concerto, deserves to be heard more often. The opening bars have that heroic sound that raises the hair on the back of the neck. Indeed those first moments rank alongside those of the Grieg and Tchaikovsky piano concertos for their ability to thrill. Ashkenazy's breathtaking playing on a superb piano is matched by that of the Concertgebouw Orchestra under Haitink's direction.