The Great Romantic Composers with Alexander Pashkov
By Mittie Roger
After his triumphant recitals for Pro Musica last season, Pashkov takes the stage with two new concerts featuring works of the great romantic composers on Saturday, January 24, and Sunday, January 25, at St. Paul’s Church on Calle Cardo. His classical Russian technique, combined with a powerful and invigorating intensity, is sure to inspire.
Pro Musica Concert Series
Piano: Alexander Pashkov
Sat and Sun, Jan 24 and 25, 5pm
St. Paul’s Church
Born in Russia to a pianist and teacher, he was a musician from childhood, entering the Leningrad (now St.Petersburg) Musical Conservatory at the age of 14. After touring worldwide, Pashkov settled in Morelia, Mexico, at the Conservatory de Las Rosas, the oldest musical conservatory in North America. Pashkov has authored several essays on Chopin devoted to the ethics of performance and methods of learning technically demanding repertoire. He is currently writing a new book, Philosophy of Music.
On Saturday, the concert will focus on the great European composers, including Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Hayden, among others. Pashkov will delight with four Schubert impromptus, a group of compositions written in 1827. While short piano pieces have not consistently been considered the most important of artistic works, these are remarkable exceptions. Others include Beethoven’s Bagatelles, Chopin’s Preludes, and Mendelssohn’s Songs without Words, from the latter of which a selection will also be featured.
Mendelssohn, in addition to being an impressive composer, artist, translator, and athlete, was a virtuoso keyboardist, playing both piano and organ. Mendelssohn’s eight books of forty-eight songs without words were composed at different moments in time. In most cases, the whimsical subtitles were attached by publishers. The Songs take advantage of the evolution of the piano as an instrument capable of varying dynamics—something new to the period—which allowed the player to adjust the volume simultaneously in different voices simply by changing the weight of the finger. This had not been possible on the piano’s predecessor, the harpsichord.
Sunday will be a foray into the great Russian composers, including Tchaikovsky, Scriabin, and Glinka. Tchaikovsky’s The Seasons, which Pashkov will perform, was forged in the same fire as his Third String Quartet, the Third Symphony, and his glorious ballet, Swan Lake. Scriabin’s Preludes were modeled after Chopin’s Preludes and Bach’s Preludes and Fugue, and span all the possible keys. Scriabin’s Sonata in F-sharp was composed shortly after the last of his Preludes. He first called it “Gothic,” but later he changed this original description to “states of the soul.” His musical journey followed the general search of the era, seeking a new harmonic language: multi-tonality, serial composition, and individual, non-mainstream scales and keys. This unique and masterful performance is not to be missed!
Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are 120, 250, and 350 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in La Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión (only at Aldama 3 and Libramiento a Dolores 105), and at the concert half an hour before performance time. Details of all Pro Musica’s concerts and Patron Membership are on our web site, www.promusicasma.com. Or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.