It is the time of year for the “Tchaikovsky Spectacular,” which means the end of the summer outdoor concert season with the 1812 Overture with cannons and fireworks. Here in Southern California that means The Hollywood Bowl and many other regional outdoor concerts and festivals.
But it signals much more than that. The fact is that good Russian music is being played more and more in concert halls and on the classical music radio stations all over the country. I love it. Even if I was raised on the desert near El Paso, Texas, I loved Russian music from an early age. Rimsky-Korsakov of course (our kids were raised on “Peter and the Wolf.”) As I write this, Prokofiev’s “Love for Three Oranges,” is being played on our great classical music station here, KUSC. There is so much to enjoy: Rachmaninoff, Borodin, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Mussorgsky – the list goes on and on. So many greats. Such romance, such stories in song and melody. I lived in Russia for six years and what a treat in the evenings.
So fireworks may end the summer outdoor concerts, the stirring and romantic music from the great Russian composers is heard all over all the time. A KUSC announcer once said, “Russian music, like Russian literature, is always excited about something.” Maybe that is why we like it so much. Nothing boring there.
You can find me at www.en.rian.ru. Go to “Features and Opinions” then “Columnists.” Read the others, too.
And don’t forget “Walking on Ice, An American Businessman is Russia.”