Pianist Taka Kigawa, a critically acclaimed Juilliard grad, plays everything from Baroque to lots of avant-garde repertoire. He is performing in late August at a really great club in New York, Le Poisson Rouge, where he is slated to play Debussy, Images, Books I and II, a piece for piano and live electronics by Marco Stoppa, and a piece by Tristan Murail. Wish I could be in the audience (or even a fly on the wall!). Can we settle at least for watching this you tube performance of a Debussy Prelude , "Feux d'artifice"? Enjoy the fireworks!
I learned something new about Rachmaninov today.....he was fascinated by flying! In the fall of 1923 the recently emigrated Russian aviation pioneer and designer Igor Sikorsky was facing economic disaster after his newly established Long Island company, Sikorsky Aero Engineering Company was going broke.He was working on a twin-engined, 14 passenger, closed cabin transport called the S-29A (for "America"). Almost completely out of money, in his makeshift factory on a chicken farm owned by a fellow Russian, he and his workers were quite surprised one day when a chaffer-driven limousine pulled up and a tall, slender figure in a long black coat got out of the car. It was pianist,composer, conductor Sergei Rachmaninov! Rachmaninov stood for a while inspecting the airplane, then begin to talk with Sikorsky. After about a half-hour Rachmaninov told Sikorsky that he believed in him and the work he was doing and proceeded to write Sikorsky a $5000 check (worth over $100,000 today). He told the stunned Sikorsky, "Pay me back when you can". Thanks to this support, Sikorsky was able to move into a real factory and continue his work of building the first multiengine plane and the largest plane built at that time. As a token of his appreciation, Sikorsky made Rachmaninov the first Vice-President of the company. On September 25, 1924, the S-29A took off successfully and with it the Sikorsky company.
Well, I learned the above simply because I was reading something about Rachmaninov in search of lyrics in preparation for study of an Earl Wild transcription of one of Rachmaninov's songs, Op, 4 No. 4 "O, Cease Thy Singing"......it is so very beautiful. But, I really should be practicing, so........