Rachmaninov Rendezvous Hong Kong Sinfonietta Kwai Tsing Theatre Reviewed: May 3 and 4 British pianist Peter Donohoe played Rachmaninov's four piano concertos over two consecutive evenings in a rare, if not unique, opportunity to reappraise side by side works that, although immensely popular, frequently stagnate through over-familiarity. Donohoe and conductor Yip Wing-sie's performance did the talking. For No 4, there was cat-and-mouse interplay between soloist and orchestra putting well-balanced orchestral colour to the fore: taking the slow movement at a speed that made you forget about the unpromising leanness of the material; stifling the finale's pesky percussion instruments to a musically acceptable level; and delivering pizzicatos so meaty you could almost feel them. I've never seen Yip so energised on the podium. The remaining concertos felt equally rejuvenated. Donohoe tiered the bravura in No1 to achieve far more intensity than by simply sending up the fireworks from the first entry. Out went the predictability of No2, leaving everyone spellbound at the end of the slow movement, while No3 was long, architectural stretches that subtly stoked the thunder of the climaxes. When they came, the force was palpable. This was adventurous programme planning, superbly executed and with a real sense of partnership between all on stage.