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Rachmaninoff

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ENTERTAINMENT
June 20, 1986 | By Daniel Webster, Inquirer Music Critic
What one musician learns from another is the basis of a great deal of music's fascination. Hearing a Liszt pupil play Liszt, for instance, is an event that commands special attention from listeners. Nikita Magaloff, the Russian-born pianist who made his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra last night by playing Rachmaninoff at the Mann Music Center, had studied with the Russian pianist-composer. He had even premiered one of Rachmaninoff's sonatas, and that kind of association and learning made his appearance an event before a note had been played.
NEWS
May 29, 2010 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
Any critic who rolls his eyes about confronting yet another Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 needs to experience the piece at the artistic confluence of Charles Dutoit, pianist Nikolai Lugansky, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. A great interpretation justifies its own existence. Not that there was anything mannered or eccentric about Lugansky's performance Friday afternoon. His characteristics - a limpid sound, a large presence, and a tendency to push his playing to the outer edge of fleetness - were natural foils to some of the orchestra's tendencies.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 18, 2014 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
Think for just a moment of composers least in need of an advocate, and you'll hit on Rachmaninoff early in the list. It is, in fact, his irrepressible popularity that disqualifies him in some quarters - still - as an innovator of any consequence. But Vladimir Jurowski takes the long view. Building on a 2007 Isle of the Dead that rippled with meaning, the Russian conductor brought an all-Rachmaninoff program to the Philadelphia Orchestra that nailed the case for the music not being what you think it is. Hollywood and a handful of whistleable tunes have tricked you. Rachmaninoff is both more sophisticated and stylistically pioneering than the gavel of history has granted.
NEWS
October 4, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
So the Rachmaninoff concerto recordings continue with the Philadelphia Orchestra after all. With the wildfire acclaim for the orchestra's collaboration with pianist Daniil Trifonov in Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini (just released on Deutsche Grammophon), a follow-up this week with the same forces and same composer's Piano Concerto No. 4 seemed planned, with four concerts to record Thursday through Sunday at the Kimmel Center. When questioned, the recording company was vague.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 6, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Sometimes, the Philadelphia Orchestra needs an outsider to remind it of who it is and what it was. Gianandrea Noseda - a guest conductor so popular with the orchestra that he was reengaged for a two-week stint this season starting Thursday (with other return visits in the works) - happens to be the foremost Rachmaninoff specialist of his generation. This week, he's conducting that composer's Symphony No. 2 Thursday through Saturday at the Kimmel Center with what is generally considered to be "Rachmaninoff's orchestra.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 30, 2016 | By Peter Dobrin, CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC
Constructing a recital of just two pieces might seem to limit the number of chances to take in the whole personality of the performer. But Rachmaninoff's Thirteen Preludes and Schumann's Carnaval are two exceptionally sprawling and varied canvases, and on Wednesday night, Alexandre Moutouzkine proved a pianist exceptionally sensitive to worlds the composers might have hoped for beyond the written page. In his Philadelphia Chamber Music Society recital debut at the American Philosophical Society, Moutouzkine revealed a series of beautifully detailed character sketches - one by an artist (Rachmaninoff)
ENTERTAINMENT
October 11, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
The program could easily be titled Tortured Beginnings. Khachaturian's Piano Concerto went so badly that the composer was found after the premiere hugging a birch tree while weeping. Rachmaninoff fled from the badly played premiere of his Symphony No. 1 with plugged ears. When both works arrived Wednesday in the Philadelphia Orchestra's Kimmel Center concert, you could understand how awful things happen to such good pieces. Rachmaninoff didn't yet know how best to sequence his musical ideas.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 29, 2006 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
While the world continues debating the merits of Rachmaninoff's symphonies and concertos, you have to acknowledge the basic function the music serves over the decades of fluctuating fashion: It saves concerts. So it was yesterday, when British pianist Stephen Hough and guest conductor Osmo V?nsk? played the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini on a Philadelphia Orchestra program that wouldn't normally need saving, but did when two Finnish works revealed some unexpected fragility. An unlikely virtuoso, pianist Hough might seem too analytical to summon Rachmaninoff-ian heat.
NEWS
January 25, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Yannick Nézet-Séguin celebrated his 1,500th concert since his 1994 debut with a Philadelphia Orchestra performance that was beyond what audiences have come to expect from him in his three years as music director. "Beyond" didn't always mean "distinguished," but it did in the dominant work on the Thursday concert, Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2 : Though not for those who prefer lean, straightforward Rachmaninoff, the performance's fusion of passion, insight, great playing and Philadelphia sound fused into something that easily deserved the rock-star reception from the Kimmel Center audience, in the second week of the St. Petersburg Festival.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 15, 2011 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
PRINCETON - Musicians outnumbered listeners on the main floor of Richardson Auditorium on Sunday for a rare performance (the balconies were packed, too) of the Rachmaninoff choral work The Bells by the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and Westminster Schola Cantorum. That wasn't all. Though the orchestra is artistically prospering under music director Rossen Milanov (who is no longer the Philadelphia Orchestra's associate conductor), the stamina of the performers was tested by a program that also included two difficult premieres of works by Edward T. Cone.
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 9, 2016 | By David Patrick Stearns, CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC
Replacing Andre Watts in a high-profile engagement has long given young pianists a career boost. Watts' Aug. 17 cancellation with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Saratoga (N.Y.) Performing Arts Center, however, comes with extra gravity: The long-admired 70-year-old pianist has prostate cancer. "It's Andre's wish that we be straight about that," said his manager Linda Marder, whose talent roster at CM Artists includes numerous pianists who are guests of the Philadelphia Orchestra. "Men of a certain age have this problem.
NEWS
May 14, 2016 | By David Patrick Stearns, CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC
NEW YORK - Speculation over Yannick Nézet-Séguin's appointment to the Metropolitan Opera continues to rage - but you wouldn't suspect that amid the nonchalant Carnegie Hall crowd at the Philadelphia Orchestra's final concert of its season here. Usually the orchestra plays Carnegie Hall at the end of a subscription series. Wednesday's concert, though, preceded the same program Thursday through Saturday at the Kimmel Center. Though not at its most polished, the orchestra delivered a program of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 1 with Lang Lang and the Mahler Symphony No. 10 that was greeted with considerable receptivity, though at nearly 21/2 hours, the concert had listeners leaving to catch their trains the minute the symphony ended.
NEWS
March 9, 2016 | By Peter Dobrin, CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC
WILMINGTON - At any given time between October and May, it's a safe bet that any number of major international orchestras are coming through Philadelphia, only to see the city through an Amtrak widow. Of course, we don't see them at all. More important, we don't hear them - not since the Kimmel Center decided a few years ago that its visiting orchestra series was a luxury the city could not afford. In April, for instance, both the San Francisco Symphony and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra play New York and D.C., and they will miss hitting one particularly great orchestra town in between.
NEWS
February 14, 2016
1 p.m. Sunday on WRTI-FM (90.1): Dazzling Macedonian pianist Simon Trpceski will perform Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini , as Gianandrea Noseda conducts the Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as the overture to Rossini's opera La Gazza Ladra and the U.S. premiere of Symphony No. 2 by Alfredo Casella.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 30, 2016 | By Peter Dobrin, CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC
Constructing a recital of just two pieces might seem to limit the number of chances to take in the whole personality of the performer. But Rachmaninoff's Thirteen Preludes and Schumann's Carnaval are two exceptionally sprawling and varied canvases, and on Wednesday night, Alexandre Moutouzkine proved a pianist exceptionally sensitive to worlds the composers might have hoped for beyond the written page. In his Philadelphia Chamber Music Society recital debut at the American Philosophical Society, Moutouzkine revealed a series of beautifully detailed character sketches - one by an artist (Rachmaninoff)
NEWS
October 4, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
So the Rachmaninoff concerto recordings continue with the Philadelphia Orchestra after all. With the wildfire acclaim for the orchestra's collaboration with pianist Daniil Trifonov in Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini (just released on Deutsche Grammophon), a follow-up this week with the same forces and same composer's Piano Concerto No. 4 seemed planned, with four concerts to record Thursday through Sunday at the Kimmel Center. When questioned, the recording company was vague.
NEWS
September 27, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Everyone in the Philadelphia Orchestra could assume, even before collaborating with pianist Daniil Trifonov, that he was much more than your typical hot competition winner. When he recorded Rachmaninoff with the orchestra in March in Philadelphia, it was under costly studio conditions, unusual for any major recording company working in America. The Deutsche Grammophon production was made from scratch, not in concert - rare since the CD heyday of the 1990s. Trifonov, 24, played Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with relentless tenacity, take after take, hour after hour, never letting the tension go slack, according to musicians present.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 22, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Yet another charming, youthful conductor has arrived on classical music's doorstep. The 31-year-old Bulgarian Stilian Kirov, fresh from the associate conductorship of the Seattle Symphony, has promptly filled the void left by Symphony in C's departing longtime music director, Rossen Milanov. Kirov's debut concert Saturday at the Gordon Theater at Rutgers-Camden raised a lot of questions that will be answered only in future concerts, but one thing was clear: He is maintaining the orchestra's high standard of playing.
NEWS
August 16, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
A paradox, perhaps, but it's a significant marker of individualism that every time Alexandre Moutouzkine appears, he sounds like a slightly different pianist. The basic character of his playing morphed even in a single recital, Thursday night, part of the Philadelphia Young Pianists' Academy (PYPA). Many listeners came to know Moutouzkine through his affiliation with Astral Artists, for which he devised in 2011 an unusually inventive live transcription of Stravinsky's The Firebird as the sound track to the animated short Who Stole the Mona Lisa?
NEWS
June 8, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
LONDON - The Philadelphia Orchestra's Europe 2015 tour can't be just about long ovations, great reviews, and full houses, because few if any tours are going to have those consistently. In Amsterdam on Thursday, Nico Muhly's new Mixed Messages got a chilly reception. In Berlin on May 26, music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin "whirled about but clarified nothing" in Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 3 , according to Ulrich Amling in Der Tagesspiegel. And at London's Royal Festival Hall on Friday, the first of two concerts there was only 60 percent full.
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