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Sunday, June 16, 2024

HBSO celebrates Rachmaninov

By Bradley Winterton

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HCMC – HBSO is to present a concert devoted entirely to the music of Rachmaninov on March 26 at Opera House in downtown HCMC.

This year is the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth in 1873.

Two works will be presented, the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and the Second Symphony.

The Rhapsody dates from 1934 and is written for full orchestra and piano.

The Paganini theme is the final item in his Caprices, number 24. These works were intended to show the skills of the performer, usually Paganini himself.

This work is for full orchestra and solo pianist, and thus resembles a piano concerto, though no piano concerto consists of 24 variations.

The young pianist will be Nguyen Viet Trung. Born in 1996, he has played in Poland, the US Germany and Ukraine.

The Rhapsody’s most famous variation is number 18, often performed as a solo piece.

The Second Symphony was from its premier onwards hugely popular, following the failure of his Symphony Number One, written in the composer’s youth.

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