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Chasing the Romantic Sublime in Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2

The lone voice of the piano unveiled Sergei Rachmaninoff‘s Piano Concerto No. 2, starting with a series of powerful, brooding chords. With each play, a heightened sense of foreboding, and the tension quickly escalated into a breaking point that erupted into scaled musical statement that reverberated throughout the concerto.

The passion, whether uttered through powerful arpeggios or sweet romantic melodies, came rolling like waves unrelentingly, leaving one breathless with the distilled essence of love—both the pleasure of love anticipated and the pain of love unfulfilled.

The performance, performed by pianist Boris GiltburgPacific Symphony and guest conductor Ben Gernon, was a pursuit of the Romantic conception of the sublime. The state of being, a Romantic ideal, believes that the most memorable experience is not made up of pleasure alone, but also suffering.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts
May 31—June 2 2018

Sergei Prokofiev Russian Overture Op. 72
Sergei Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 2
Igor Stravinsky Petrushka (1947 version) 

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