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LISTEN: Pensacola Symphony Brings Russian Composers To Life

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Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Rimsky-Korsakov were musical patriarchs of their time, each contributing their own unique style. Russian Spectacular explores a passionate performance by each of these composers. The program opens with Rimsky-Korsakov’s colorful Capriccio espagnole, consisting of five connected movements each based on Spanish themes. He wrote this piece for a large orchestra and took great advantage of the different timbres by designing melodic passages specific to each instrument. Tchaikovsky even hailed it as “a colossal masterpiece of instrumentation”.

Following, Ilya Yakushev joins the stage for Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Prokofiev was a piano virtuoso himself – he had written the concerto just prior a trip to America and was ready to make his mark on the music scene. Of Prokofiev’s five piano concerts, the third has garnered the greatest popularity and represents his inventive ability. Russian pianist Ilya Yakushev has gained many awards and honors throughout his career – most notably winning the 2005 World Piano Competition. Noted for his spirited and energetic performance, Yakushev continues to astound audiences. Closing the program is Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2, “Little Russian” – a seamless embodiment of his ardent devotion to the Russian culture and a spectacular ending to the night.