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Serguei Rachmaninoff

Saturday, December 3, 2016


My Classical Notes

November 29

Dec. 3+4, Dudamel Concert in Los Angeles

My Classical NotesMake your plans soon to attend this concert conducted by Gustavo Dudamel in Los Angeles: Dates: Saturday December 3, 2016 at 8:00 PM Sunday, December 4, at 2:00 PM Venue: Walt Disney Concert Hall 111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012 Performers: Los Angeles Philharmonic Gustavo Dudamel, conductor Daniil Trifonov, piano Program: RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 3 PROKOFIEV Scythian Suite SCRIABIN Poem of Ecstasy Here is Mr. Trifonov in a recording of the complete Rachmaninov Concerto number 3:

Guardian

November 11

Zoltán Kocsis obituary

Classical pianist, conductor, teacher, composer, record producer and criticZoltán Kocsis, who has died aged 64 following a long illness, was a member of a distinguished troika of Hungarian pianists – with Dezsö Ránki and András Schiff – who emanated from the late 1960s class of Pál Kadosa at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. Schiff, although the youngest of the trio, was the first to embark on an international career, while Kocsis, like Ránki, remained closer to Hungary, engaging fruitfully with his compatriots, provocatively and often courageously towards officialdom. Kocsis’s contribution to the culture of his native country was all the more valuable in that he was not only a pianist and conductor, but also a teacher, arranger, musicologist, composer, record producer and critic.Underpinning that versatility was a sense of mission: a burning desire to pass on the insights and experience of previous generations. To that end he would proselytise on behalf of, for example, Rachmaninov’s or Bartók’s performances of their own works, even when this approach ran counter to orthodoxy. Thus his interpretations of Bartók (he recorded the complete piano works, both solo and with orchestra, to high acclaim) exemplified his conviction that the “barbarism” traditionally projected in the ubiquitous motor rhythms was too extreme, too mechanical. Kocsis preferred a more flexible and sensitive approach, as had been demonstrated, he maintained, by Bartók himself. Continue reading...




My Classical Notes

November 10

Tharaud Plays Rachmaninov

Tharaud plays Rachmaninov on a new recording. Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18, with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Alexander Vedernikov conducting. Morceaux de Fantaisie, Op. 3 Vocalise, Op. 34 No. 14, with Sabine Devieilhe (soprano) Pieces (2) in A major for piano 6 hands – Waltz & Romance, with Aleksandar Madžar (piano) & Alexander Melnikov (piano) Performed by Alexandre Tharaud (piano) French pianist Alexandre Tharaud takes on the ‘Rach 2’ concerto in a thrilling performance with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Russian maestro Alexander Vedernikov. It is coupled with more intimate Rachmaninov for piano six-hands (for which Alexandre is flanked by Alexander Melnikov and Aleksandar Madžar) and the icing on the cake: a sublime Vocalise in the original version for voice and piano, with pure-voiced French soprano Sabine Devieilhe. Alexandre Tharaud this time devoted the entire album to Russian repertoire – specifically to the music of Sergei Rachmaninov. “I was still quite young when I first played this concerto,” explains Tharaud. “I adored it … Rachmaninov’s virtuosity really appeals to young pianists. Today, of course I’m still enthralled by the concerto’s virtuosity, but now I’m more interested in its dark shadows: the sense of despair, of staring into the abyss. My interpretation of Rachmaninov has changed a lot over the years.” Here is Mr. Tharaud, seen rehearsing the concerto number 2:



Serguei Rachmaninoff
(1873 – 1943)

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1 April 1873 – 28 March 1943) was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. Rachmaninoff is widely considered one of the finest pianists of his day and, as a composer, one of the last great representatives of Romanticism in Russian classical music. Early influences of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, and other Russian composers gave way to a thoroughly personal idiom that included a pronounced lyricism, expressive breadth, structural ingenuity, and a tonal palette of rich, distinctive orchestral colors. The piano is featured prominently in Rachmaninoff's compositional output. He made a point of using his own skills as a performer to explore fully the expressive possibilities of the instrument. Even in his earliest works he revealed a sure grasp of idiomatic piano writing and a striking gift for melody.



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