Russian Piano 2016: a series

It has been a good long while since we’ve done any piano stuff, but it’s actually been longer since last year’s Russian Symphony 2015 series that lasted three whole months. Granted, in those three months, we covered 20 symphonies, but at the time, we hadn’t even started the String Quartet Series, and I was sticking pretty well to only one symphony per week, unlike last month’s Swedish Symphony Series, where I had as many as three large-scale works per week in addition to the weekend posts. That’s a lot of music.

But last year’s Russian Symphony Series was a long one, and by the time it was over, I was more than excited to move on to something else. It’s been a whole year since then, and now it’s time to get around to some of the famous Russian piano works in the repertoire.

While I try to make the majority of the series on the site comprehensive in some way, this one has no intentions of being so. There is a ton of Russian music for the piano from composers across generations and styles and I have no intention of even pretending to represent anything but a small sliver of that. The earliest work on the lineup was written in the late 19th century and the most recent in 1917, so we’re covering barely four decades, and there’s some overlap.

I’ll be continuing the habit of complementing the weekly series with weekend chamber works, even though I originally told myself it would be an independent thing. There’s lots of Russian chamber stuff, and we haven’t really touched on any of it yet, so now is as good a time as any.

Oh, and by the way, it’s solo piano, so no concertos, even if there are some really compelling ones from the people we’ll be discussing, and even more from those we won’t (yet).

There’s a Red October joke to be made possibly, but I haven’t quite formulated what would be funny and not stereotypical or old or insensitive, so I’ll pass on that, but October is a wonderful month. The leaves begin to change colors (depending on where you live), the weather cools off, clothing and food get heavier, and it ushers in my favorite weather. I’m not sure what that has to do with this series, per se, but there are some individual segments that are fitting.

Anyway, we’ve moved away from Sweden for the time being, as incredible as that series was, and now it’s time for more Russian music, and more piano. Stay tuned for some very good music, some of which I’ve been waiting for a very long time to write about. See you soon.

(Cover image: Aivazovsky’s Moscow in Winter from the Sparrow Hills)

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