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In the late 19th century Russia gave the world such a great number of prominent composers as no other country in Europe. The community of the so-called “Mighty Handful” which included Mily Balakirev, César Cui, Modest Mussorgsky, Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Borodin, carried on musical traditions of Mikhail Glinka. Anatoly Lyadov, Sergei Lyapunov, Alexander Glazunov, Reinhold Glière and Sergey Taneyev tried to create a kind of musical impressionism staying within the flow of Russian national traditions and creative work of P.I.Tchaikovsky. Along with that, Alexander Scriabin, Sergey Prokofiev and Igor Stravinsky already headed the way to avante-garde in music which was warmly welcomed in the Western Europe. Not endeavoring uniqueness, guided first by Russian, and later by European romantics – Mendelson, Chopin, Schumann, Brahms – Anton Arensky in those circumstances succeeded in creating his own salon-eclectic style. For their outstanding compositional accomplishments the pieces by Arensky were favorably received by Tchaikovsky, Taneyev and Rakhmaninov. Rakhmaninov himself did not pursue revolutionary changes in music, and yet his elegiac, late-romantic style which continued the traditions of Tchaikovsky and is remarkable for its inimitable stylistics of harmonies, is incredibly popular today. Nikolay Medtner, a composer of German descent, in his turn, could form a very particular, romantic and expressive style. A close friend of Rakhmaninov (who, by the way, considered him to be more talented then himself), he was also a prominent pianist. 

Pieces by Arensky, Rakhmaninov and Metner will be performed during today’s concert by Russian musicians Elena Revich (violin) and Polina Osetinskaya (piano). Both artists received high appraisals from sophisticated Moscow’s public, and not only by them. Elena Revich is a prize winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition and currently the first violin and the concert mistress of the famous Moscow Soloists Chamber Orchestra headed by Yuri Bashmet. The pianist Polina Osetinskaya who already won fame at a young age as a prodigy, is now well-known worldwide and has set up her own cycle of classical music concerts for young listeners in Moscow.

Anton Arensky
From „Four pieces for violin and piano“, op.30 (1894)

No.2 „Sérénade“. Allegro
No.3 „Berceuse“. Andante (lullaby)
No.4 „Scherzo“. Presto 

Sergei Rachmaninov
From „Twelve songs“, op.21: No. 5 „Lilac“ (1900)
(transcription for violin and piano)

Nikolai Medtner
Second movement from the sonata for violin and piano No.1 A minor, op.21 (1904-10)

  1. Danza. Allegro scherzando

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