Wednesday, 26 January 2011

bombs and chandeliers

Found out about Domodedovo bomb pretty immediately after it happened, as some of my colleagues were departing from there (they left safely but, of course, delayed).  And then went straight to a piano concert at the Moscow Conservatory. This was in memory of Pavel Messner, one of their most famous teachers, who died five years ago. So spent the evening in slight disconnect, reverberating slightly with shock under the splendour of an electric chandelier, listening to the most exquisite piano music.

Both Messner's daughter and grandaughter were there, the latter's stage debut aged 10; she played Chopin, as beautifully and  affectingly as could be imagined (see above, isn't she just sooo sweet!). Otherwise there was Rachmaninov and Brahms and Schubert - as someone extremely unmusical  I learnt a lot about just how much drama you can get from a piano or two.

The other highlight was hearing the contemporary Russian composer Alexander Rosenblatt playing a couple of his own pieces. Concertino on 2 Russian themes for 4 hands (view here on YouTube) was completely unexpected in the way it sampled other music.  Is this common for contemporary classic music either here or elsewhere? The audience loved it, and so did I.

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