Get ready to Rach, Winnipeg.
This weekend, virtuoso pianist Alexei Volodin makes his return to Winnipeg for back-to-back nights of Rachmaninoff with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and a solo afternoon recital, presented by the Women's Musical Club of Winnipeg.
Last in town during the early part of March 2020, Volodin performed all five Beethoven piano concertos and the Choral Fantasy over two nights at the Centennial Concert Hall.
“It happened to me for a few seasons that I would always close my season with Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy,” says Volodin. In what can only be described as a “very curious coincidence,” it was indeed the last work he played as touring and performing came to an abrupt halt due to global lockdowns and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I couldn’t believe myself. I played and that was it.”
Not one to rest on his laurels, Volodin comes back to Winnipeg with an impressive list of to-dos.
On Friday and Saturday, audiences will be treated to back-to-back Sergei Rachmaninoff concertos. Presented out of order, the demanding and vigorous Third concerto comes first before the sentimental and beloved Second on Saturday.
“(Rachmaninoff) was a huge virtuoso but he also had huge demands for himself,” says Volodin about the great Romantic composer-pianist.
Each work offers its own special set of challenges but there is a certain responsibility when it comes to the Piano Concerto no. 2, notes Volodin.
“There are not as many notes in the Second as there are in the Third so each note counts even more,” he says.
Volodin also points out the work's popularity.
“It’s so much in the ears of people,” he says. “Everything is so logically and beautifully written so the chances to spoil the music are even a little higher than in the Third.”
Tickets and details at: www.wso.ca
Sunday’s Solo Matinee
Winnipeg audiences will have the opportunity to see Volodin without the orchestra on Sunday afternoon when he presents a solo recital as part of the Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg Centre Stage series.
The program consists of Schubert, Beethoven, Medtner, and Mussorgsky’s captivating Pictures at an Exhibition.
“I think it’s one of the biggest masterpieces of music in general,” says Volodin. “It’s also a big responsibility, big joy to play it – a very special piece.”
Made all the more special by a performance in an art gallery – WAG-Qaumajuq – beginning at 2 p.m.
Find more information and tickets by visiting: www.wmcwpg.ca