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Sandusky's Russian pianist hits the 'Rite' notes

Tom Jackson • Apr 23, 2013 at 10:37 AM

If you missed Perkins Township resident Margarita Denenburg's recent performing of the two-piano version of Igor Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring," here is the video on YouTube. (The other performer is Elyria pianist Gerald Evans.)

I have heard many performances of the "Rite" by various orchestras, but I was new to the piano version, which I've now finally heard after 30 plus years of being a Stravinsky fan. The piano version really brings out the jagged, shifting rhythms. Hearing Denenburg play the famous opening notes in a jazzy style also is interesting. I know the piece pretty well, and the pianists nail it. 

Notice also the staging of the concert, which makes the experience of watching the video almost scary in its intensity. In the foreground is Denenburg, a striking woman who wears a bright red dress and is very expressive, against a background of a black bench, black piano, black chairs and three expressionless people in dark clothing. Denenburg's reaction to the music helps focus attention on the piece.

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