Rachmaninov To Rock Cornfield

Posted by on May 02, 2011 | Leave a Comment

There are many instruments, which when played in the hands of a maestro, deliver us, albeit temporarily, into the arms of the Gods. The only thing better than this is seeing the performance first-hand, made even more remarkable if the music being performed stretches both the artistic and technical skills of the maestro in question.

Well dear readers and stout clickers of ads, you will shortly have the opportunity to witness such an event in Devonport. Devonport’s resident pianist extraordinaire – Paddy Cornfield – is set to do battle with Rachmaninov for the eighth time.

Whether you are a fan of classical music or not, it’s always quite a spectacle to watch an excellent musician on their instrument of choice grapple with a technically demanding piece of music, not to mention the complex emotions of the composer.

And this is no mean feat. To Harold Schonberg, Rachmaninov’s tall, lanky figure, with its dour, seamed face and close-cropped hair, evoked an escaped convict. Stravinsky called him a “six and a half foot scowl.”

And from a technical perspective “The supremacy of the piano is confirmed (as it) continues with a blizzard of notes that thickens the texture of an ensuing luxuriant string melody. Indeed, throughout the entire work, the solo instrument rarely falls silent or cedes the spotlight to the orchestra…” Peter Gutmann, Classical Notes

Should be quite an afternoon.

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