In the music literature there are many tunes we can recognize after hearing just a few notes. One of them is the famous theme of the violin caprice for A minor by the Italian virtuoso Niccolò Paganini. It has inspired many composers, including F. Liszt, and W. Lutosławski. Its magic also enthralled Sergei Rachmaninoff, who wrote the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini in the years 1932–1934. While it is a charming gem for the audiences, for the pianist it is one of the most difficult pieces ever composed. Rachmaninoff was known for his extraordinarily large hands and he wrote music having in mind himself at the piano. Thanks to his huge hand span, he did not have to use any technical tricks to play very large intervals on the keyboard (legend has it that he could easily cover a twelfth – when one looks at the keyboard, it corresponds to a stretch of twelve white keys). Consequently, he played with natural ease – a sign of virtuosity. Today, we know that his large hands and unusually supple joints were linked to a condition called Marfan syndrome, which is a disease of connective tissue. During the Philharmonic concert, Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody will be played by the Ukrainian-born Canadian pianist Serhiy Salov, winner of the Montreal International Musical Competition (2004) and the Richard Lupien Improvisation Prize (2014), and runner-up of the Gina Bachauer International Artists Competition in Salt Lake City (2010).
Serhyi Salov - piano
Pawel Przytocki – conductor
Arthur Rubinstein Philharmonic Orchestra
Ludwig van Beethoven - Uwertura „Egmont“ op. 84
Franciszek Liszt - II Koncert fortepianowy A-dur S.125
Siergiej Rachmaninow - Rapsodia na temat Paganiniego a-moll op. 43
Dymitr Szostakowicz - IX Symfonia Es-dur op. 70
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