By Dale Burrows For The Weekly Herald
Expect an up-close-and-personal encounter with Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 on Jan. 23 when maestro Michael Miropolsky and internationally recognized pianist Anastasia Solomatina team with Cascade Symphony Orchestra to showcase the classic.
Because this will be two Russian American musicians interpreting perhaps the most Russian of Russian composers (and also a naturalized American at the time of his death). Feelings for the homeland of their birth are bound to enter in.
On top of that, Rachmaninoff’s Second is technically difficult.
The breadth of thematic development is expressive but involved beyond belief. The structural ingenuity is a marvel to hear but organized inventively. The lyricism is sheer beauty but requires extreme sensitivity to the tonal palette of rich, distinctive colors.
No doubt about it, Miropolsky, Solomatina and the orchestra will have their hands full just accessing interpretation.
However, before they address mighty Rachmaninoff, everyone performing will have prepared ticket-holders with the exquisite sadness of Sibelius’ “Valse Triste,” the fiery passions of selections from Gershwin’s groundbreaking “Porgy and Bess” and the rousing fanfare of Rossini and Respighi’s “La Boutique Fantasque.”
Look for this program’s first half to be a rather lightweight mix of familiar emotions paving the way to a profound expression of acceptance.
Rachmaninoff wrote this second concerto after a years-long sink into deep depression following the failure of his first piano concerto. One can only imagine the demons he had to make peace with. The way Miropolsky, Solomatina et alia interpret this masterpiece promises to be a concert to attend.
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WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23
WHERE: Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 Fourth Ave. N, Edmonds
TICKETS: $25 general, $20 seniors (60+), $15 students, $10 youth age 12 and under. Call 425-275-9595 or go to www.ec4arts.org