Everybody knows Rachmaninov, until you ask them and they realize they don’t: he’s an enigma. And the songs? You hear them and you’re instantly won over. Russian Soul tells a dramatic story that starts in imperial Russia, ends in Beverley Hills, sweeps through old and new worlds, penniless exile, and comfortless fame, and asks searching questions along the way. Who was Rachmaninov, beyond the 6ft scowl he presented to Stravinsky? Why does he matter? What did he leave the future? And can a western world that hasn’t even reached agreement on how to spell his name ever come to terms with what his music is about?
So – the Russian soprano Ilona Domnich, the pianist Sholto Kynoch and the critic and broadcaster Michael White present a show comprising songs and piano solos embedded in a spoken commentary and presented with an element of theatre that makes for a glorious evening of music and words – and that sets out to explain the connection.
This concert is kindly sponsored by Hughes Solicitors, Heathfield.