Sunday, January 24, 2010

Russian pianist, woodsman, rascal: Sergei Vladimiroff's 70th birthday recital

Sergei Vladimiroff is a man who likes to lead hikers into the woods. He also likes to take listeners on excursions into the hills of music - music of many kinds, from the careful weavings of Bach to the wry shtick of nightclub-style comedy at a party -- but he especially loves the high cliffs, dark woods and turbulent weather of the romantic composers. Saturday he gave a classical recital in Brookfield (at Valley Presbyterian). It was 70 minutes of music played from memory on his 70th birthday.
The first half of the program was all Bach: a partita, two preludes and two concertos. The second half was the pianist's favorites: the romantic era composers: Czerny, Liszt, Chopin, Scriabin and Rachmaninov. His love of this music, and his expertise in rendering its emotive breadth were evident. During his first encore,
Rachmaninoff’s 2nd piano concerto, Vladimiroff Sr. couldn't help himself and began to sing the cello part as he played,  surprising and enchanting his audience.  For a second encore he played and led recital-goers in singing America the Beautiful.

There were flowers and a birthday cake afterward along with a four-part rendition of Happy Birthday. 
See also: Memorial for SergeiConcert, 2 Vladimiroffs

........... - MM Walker