Peninsula Symphony with Pianist Natasha Paremski: Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Wagner
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Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Robert C. Lang
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This was quite and eclectic and enjoyable program, from the Wagner Rienzi Overture (with many familar motifs), the Shostakovich Symphony no.9, which was almost the antithesis of the "monumental" Shostakovich works that I am most familiar with, through the most rousing Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto no. 2, which frankly I thought I would tire of after so many listens, both recorded and live. But 21 year old Natasha Paremski and the orchestra nailed it.
I was pleasantly surprised by the Peninsula Symphony which I had never heard. They played extremely well.
I give the overall performances a 4.5 (not 5) due to my ambivalence about the Shostakovich. Although, I will be buying a recording of the Shostakovich 9th to become more familiar with it.
Natasha Paremski kicks off the Peninsula Symphony’s 61st season of “Young Artists, Old Masters” with Rachmaninoff’s exciting Second Piano Concerto. Paremski, one of KDFC’s 2008 “Top 30 under 30”, is known for her flawless technique and dynamic performances. Other pieces for the evening include Wagner’s “Rienzi Overture” and Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony.
It’s not by chance that Rachmaninoff’s thrilling Second Piano Concerto is considered the most beloved concerto by audiences worldwide. The tempestuous energy and soaring lyricism of this masterpiece engage and engross the listener from beginning to end. From the first, brooding chords in the piano, which explode into a torrent of melancholy melody, to the closing sweep of brilliant, triumphal virtuosity, this is a piece that everyone loves. Natasha Paremski brings youth, passion and flawless technique to this musical icon.
“Our season theme – “old masters, young artists” – is a perfect way to describe this opening concert. With three sublime masterpieces and a dynamic 21-year-old Moscow-born piano soloist, this promises to launch the season in spectacular fashion,” remarks Mitchell Sardou Klein, Music Director and Conductor.
Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony, written in celebration of the end of World War II, is not the typical dark, melancholy sort of music that we usually expect from the Russian master. Here Shostakovich exults in a light, jovial play of themes and colorful instrumentation, Classical in scope and cheerful in tone. It is brilliantly written, and great fun to perform and to listen to. The concert opens with Wagner’s Rienzi Overture, with typically plush Wagnerian melody and expansive fanfares.