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Russian romantics

Paremski-hair The other day I had the pleasure of interviewing Natasha Paremski. She is the 21-year-old Russian-born pianist coming to Artpark Saturday night to play the Rachmaninoff Second with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. That is Paremski's hair pictured at left. I found the picture on her Web site and I liked it and had to run it.

My interview with Paremski is running in Saturday's paper. Meanwhile, I thought I would pass along a couple of videos of her.

Here is Paremski playing Tchaikovsky's First, beginning with "those sledgehammer chords," in a kind of documentary about Tchaikovsky. Paremski makes kind of sweeping statements during the course of it, but that is what you do when you are 21.

Paremski also became involved with a documentary made by Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, about Robert and Clara Schumann. Sting and Styler read letters written by the famous musical couple, and Paremski is one of the musical performers who play excerpts from the Schumanns' music.

"I must tell you, that working with Sting and Trudie was one of the most inspiring and enlightening experiences of my life. They are both the most kind-hearted, generous, and fun people. In fact, they are so down-to-earth and engaging that one quickly begins to forget that one is in the presence of true celebrities!!" That is Paremski's comment on the project on her Web site.

Funny, it sounds as if a publicist wrote that. It just does! But I like this clip of the video I found on the Web site of the British paper the Telegraph. Sting and Styler, with their impassioned readings, give the impression that they care deeply about the Schumanns. I like to believe that they do!

Paremski has quite the celebrity buzz going. I can't wait to hear her play that glorious Rachmaninoff Second.

Meanwhile, here is Rachmaninoff himself playing the concerto's first movement.

And here is figure skater Lu Chen skating to the second movement.

And to complete our offbeat tour of the piece, here is the last movement -- the finale -- as played by Joan Fontaine in the melodramatic 1950 movie "September Affair." (The real pianist on the soundtrack is the Buffalo native Leonard Pennario.)

What a concerto this is!

I can't wait to hear what Natasha Paremski does with it.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman

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