Faculty Select Series Resumes with All-Tchaikovsky Piano Program
Apart from the ubiquitous First Piano Concerto, not many of Tchaikovsky’s piano pieces are performed with any frequency outside of Russia. Their intimacy, however, makes them especially suitable for performance in a smaller venue — such as DePauw University’s Thompson Recital Hall.
For the Faculty Select series concert in Thompson at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, faculty pianist Tony Weinstein (pictured) and his wife, guest pianist Karina Avanesian-Weinstein, plan to re-create the atmosphere of a sophisticated salon in 1880s Moscow with performances of the 12-movement cycle The Seasons and the extended single-movement Ballade-like Dumka — staple works for every Russian pianist. Each are uniquely balanced in being approachable (to both performer and audience), disarming beautiful and touching, yet profound and rich in meaning and invention.
Although not a particularly accomplished pianist himself, Tchaikovsky wrote some of the most recognizable and beloved standards for the instrument. By the 1880s, his music was all the rage in Moscow. “Pushkin is our all,” declared the influential critic Apollon Grigor’ev about Russia’s greatest poet. By the end of the same century, Tchaikovsky was quickly becoming Russia’s “all” with respect to music.
And, what would a salon evening be without a little music for four-hand piano? Tuesday’s program concludes with the Weinsteins’ delectable interpretation of the Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy, transcribed by Nadezhda Rimskaya-Korsakova (Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov’s wife and herself a gifted pianist). Bienvenue chez Monsieur Pierre!
General admission for the Faculty Select series is $10. Tickets for seniors, children and all students are free, thanks to season sponsors Judson and Joyce Green. For more information or to make online purchases, visit www.music.depauw.edu. The Green Center box office is also open M-W-F from noon to 4 p.m. and 90 minutes prior to each ticketed performance