Spotlight concert 'exceptional' with Rachmaninoff chamber works
By WILLIAM FURTWANGLER
Post and Courier, Saturday June 3rd, 2006
"An Elegant Evening of Rachmaninoff," part of the Piccolo Spoleto Spotlight Concert Series at the City Gallery, was a superb chamber music presentation, featuring violin, cello and piano.
Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943), composer, pianist and conductor, composed 10 surviving chamber music works, all during his youth. Two conceptually vast works, the "Sonata for cello and piano, Op. 19" (1901) and the "Trio elegiaque No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 9," were given exceptional readings Friday evening.
This standing-room-only Spotlight concert presented cellist Natalia Khoma and pianist Volodymyr Vynnytsky, in Rachmaninoff's Sonata.
Khoma and Vynnytsky treated the lavishly scaled four-movement work on a grand scale, impassioned and emotional with its profusion of gorgeous melodies.
Khoma is an extremely skillful cellist, revealing all of the subtle and burnished aspects of her instrument and Rachmaninoff's music.
Reflecting incredible technique and deep musical understanding, Vynnytsky is as masterly a keyboard artist as you will ever hope to find.
Rachmaninoff's Trio, dedicated in Tchaikovsky's memory, required the splendid and indispensable violinist Lee-Chin Siow join the Khoma and Vynnytsky duo.
The vast first movement was full of lyrical bon-bons. The second movement consisted of some ambitious variations with many tempo changes that appeared to never end. The short Allegro proved the perfect closing statement.
The piano trio handled the challenges Rachmaninoff threw at them without losing the heavy, moody Slavic spirit which runs through the composer's scores.