Rachmaninoff

San Antonio Symphony

This week’s San Antonio Symphony performance at the Majestic Theater features the second Sergei Rachmaninoff piece of the new symphony season, Piano Concerto No. 2.

"At least in the top five of the most famous of piano concertos, or the most popular ever written," Lang-Lessing said.

The featured soloist is a highly regarded pianist originally from the Philippines.

"We are very, very lucky to have the wonderful Cecile Licad playing with us this weekend, and she’s really a wonderful artist," Lang-Lessing said.

San Antonio Symphony

The San Antonio Symphony debuted its new season last weekend and Musical Director and sometimes Conductor Sebastian Lang-Lessing predicts a lot of sizzle for their Friday and Saturday night performances at the Majestic.

"It’s going to be a very exciting performance for me," he said. "Schumann is something  that’s very personal for me. I’m very close to his music. I’ve recorded all of his symphonies and always feature him when I can."

Lang-Lessing is also looking forward to playing Rachmaninoff’s "Symphonic Dances."

Jeffrey Biegel talks about his upcoming recital at the First Unitarian Universalist Church this Saturday. While the topics all had something to do with great music, some are a little off topic. Biegel first talks about his new passion, tweeting; @tprclassical subscribes to his tweets and he certainly has a lot to say - as do those that follow his remarks.

A singular honor

Petrov Piano Company

On "The Piano" this Sunday, a collection of riveting pieces that have Slavonic roots. First, Sergei Rachmaninoff and his new, modular approach to music; whether he consciously or unconsciously chose tolling bell patterns as a basis for his 2nd piano sonata, the effect is the same as a great festival in which, at the conclusion, all the church bells get involved.

Then there is Mily Balakirev, who explored the height of piano virtuosity with his "Islamey," featuring a soloist who was never known to rein in his power and audacity - Vladimir Horowitz.

This week, the Criterion Collection released a marvelous set of David Lean films based on the work of Noël Coward. Of those films (and many others), “Brief Encounter” has always been and remains a favorite of mine.  It’s also the movie that rescued Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 for me from the realm of figure skating Olympians, and put it in what I feel is its proper place, as the soundtrack to a doomed romance!