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More music than you can shake a stick (or a baton) at in Kleinhans

Full disclosure: the author is employed by the radio station mentioned below and produces a weekly radio show focused on JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic.

Powerful under-30-year-old pianist Natasha Paremski returns to Kleinhans Music Hall to perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 on a program that includes Buffalo native Philip Rothman’s energetic “Starsplitter” and two works by Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodaly. The second of two concerts is this Saturday, April 21, at 8:00 p.m.  In this conversationBuffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director JoAnn Falletta talks about a fifth work she programmed to celebrate local radio station Classical 94.5 WNED’s 40th anniversary. For the first time ever on a classics concert, Beethoven’s “Consecration of the House” overture, which is in the bright key of C major, and, although a rarity, is 100% Beethoven will be played. If you’ve never heard it live, this is a rare treat.

Another treat was the only 6-minute-long “Starsplitter” by Buffalo (actually Williamsville) native Philip Rothman, which was refreshing modern music in that it was extremely varied, changing its tonal colors frequently in a very short space. Many modern compositions go over the same sonic ground mercilessly, but this piece was a delight.

Then, out came the big Steinway concert grand piano and Russian born and trained pianist Natasha Paremski who can handle the big concertos such as Tchaikovsky’s and Rachmaninoff’s, and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3, which she played with the BPO and will play again with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, JoAnn Falletta conducting, this Saturday April 22 at 8:00 p.m. at Kleinhans Music Hall. It is Beethoven’s only minor key piano concerto (of five) and it has all the moody energy that we love about Beethoven. In this conversationParemski talks about how early training and an emphasis on “technique” (a term which she explains) has made her so well-rounded and virtuosic.

Her power is unmistakable, but her ability to play slowly, quietly, with 110% concentration was stunning.

Her power is unmistakable, but her ability to play slowly, quietly, with 110% concentration was stunning.

And, after intermission there are two (yes two!) more works, both by Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodaly, the rather Coplandesque “Concerto for Orchestra” and the gypsy like “Dances of Galanta.” This program is high quality and chock full of very high quality music and music making.

Natasha Paremski will be in the lobby at intermission and after the concert to sign autographs. CDs will be available.

Photo: Andrea Joynt

*HERD OF BUFFALO (Notes on the Rating System)

ONE BUFFALO: This means trouble. Unless there is some really compelling reason for you to attend (e.g. you are the parent of someone who is performing), give this concert a wide berth.

TWO BUFFALOS: Passable, but no great shakes. Either the performance is pretty far off base, or the music itself is problematic. Unless you are the sort of person who’s happy just going to hear live music, you might look around for something else.

THREE BUFFALOS: I still have my issues, but this is a pretty darn good music making. If you don’t go in with huge expectations, you will probably be pleased.

FOUR BUFFALOS: Both the performance and the music are of high caliber. If the genre/content are up your alley, I would make a real effort to attend.

FIVE BUFFALOS: Truly superb–a rare rating. Provided that this is the kind of show you like, you’d be a fool to miss it!

Written by Peter Hall

Peter Hall

Peter Hall continues trying to figure out how "it" all works. For 20 years, as program host on Classical 94.5 WNED and continuing on-stage with the Buffalo Chamber Music Society, he's conducted over 1,000 interviews with artists as he asks them to explain, in layman's terms, "what's the big picture here?"

As mentioned recently in Buffalo Spree magazine, Peter's "Buffalo Rising reviews are the no-holds barred 'everyman's' take." And, on “Theater Talk” (heard Friday mornings at 6:45 and 8:45 a.m. on WBFO 88.7 FM and Saturday afternoons at 5:55 p.m. on Classical 94.5 WNED) his favorite question of co-host Anthony Chase is simply "What's goin' on?"

A member of Buffalo's Artie Awards Committee, Peter holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Columbia University and an M.B.A. from SUNY at Buffalo. For over twenty-five years he has been an adjunct professor for Canisius College’s Richard J. Wehle School of Business.

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