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An Alpine Symphony - Free Livestream

featuring Nobu and the NAC Orchestra

2023-05-11 20:00 2023-05-11 22:00 60 Canada/Eastern 🎟 NAC: An Alpine Symphony - Free Livestream

NAC Livestream

Tonight’s guest artist, Japanese pianist Nobu (Nobuyuki Tsuji), first found himself at a keyboard at the age of 2 picking out a tune he heard his mother hum. Nobu has gone on to become a composer and much sought-after guest pianist, with a legion of fellow concert pianists as admirers. Blind from birth, Nobu learns each piece strictly by ear, and of his performances, iconic pianist Van Cliburn once said “…he was absolutely miraculous. His performance had the power of a...

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Thursday, May 11, 2023
NAC Livestream



New work for NAC Orchestra


Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 18

In March 1897, Sergey Rachmaninoff (1873–1943) saw the premiere in St. Petersburg of his first major work, Symphony No. 1…and it was a disaster. It led to a creative crisis lasting three years, during which he was unable to compose anything of significance (although at this time, he continued to perform as a pianist and began another career as a conductor). Eventually, with the support and encouragement of his friends, as well as conversations with the hypnotherapist Dr. Nikolay Dahl, he resumed composing, and completed the Second Piano Concerto in 1901. A success from the day he performed it, it remains his most popular work today.

And it’s easy to see why. The first movement of the Concerto (which is dedicated to Dahl) is a powerful—and superbly crafted—drama between piano and orchestra, filled with passionate melodies, sumptuous textures, and rich harmonies. After the striking introduction of sombre chords played by the pianist alone, the movement is dominated by two themes: a brooding, chant-like main theme presented by the violins and violas, and later, an ardent arch-like melody first introduced by the piano. These are developed in the middle of the movement, as the piano and orchestra together build tension and momentum, ultimately surging towards a climactic return of the main theme in a march-like version. The piano continues, the music more achingly melancholy now, leading into a nostalgic version of the second theme played by solo horn. After a meditative, somewhat dreamy episode for the piano, the pace gradually picks up, and the movement is brought to an abruptly emphatic end.

Program notes by Dr. Hannah Chan-Hartley

R. Strauss

An Alpine Symphony