It’s date night with DH & Rachmaninoff at the Nashville Symphony.
The first time I remember hearing tonight’s featured Rachmaninoff piece was watching the 1980 Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour movie, Somewhere In Time. I thought it the most beautiful piece of music I had ever heard.
The perfect piano concerto — that’s how soloist Jon Kimura Parker describes Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. It’s also the perfect vehicle for this charismatic pianist’s jaw-dropping technique and vivacious showmanship. Franck’s D minor Symphony is possibly the greatest symphonic work by a French composer, with an unusually deep, rich sonority that evokes the sound of an organ.
Gilbert Varga, CONDUCTOR
Jon Kimura Parker, PIANO
Kodály – DANCES OF GALÁNTA
Rachmaninoff – RHAPSODY ON A THEME OF PAGANINI, OP. 43 Click this link to listen!
Franck – SYMPHONY IN D MINOR
Oh, by the way, this coming Sunday, April 1st, would have been Sergei Rachmaninoff’s 139th birthday.
Wow, just found this on Wikipedia:
Rachmaninoff fell ill during a concert tour in late 1942 and was subsequently diagnosed with advanced melanoma. The family was informed but the composer was not. On 1 February 1943 he and his wife became American citizens. His last recital, given on 17 February 1943 at the Alumni Gymnasium of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, included Chopin’s Piano Sonata No. 2, which contains the famous Marche funèbre (Funeral March). A statue called “Rachmaninoff: The Last Concert”, designed and sculpted by Victor Bokarev, now stands in World Fair Park in Knoxville as a permanent tribute to Rachmaninoff. He became so ill after this recital that he had to return to his home in Los Angeles.