By Joseph E. Morgan
Adam Clark, Associate Professor of Piano at Middle Tennessee State University is currently undertaking a mini-tour of Middle Tennessee, performing Sergei Rachmaninoff’s virtuosic op.39 Etudes-tableaux on the centennial of its composition (1916). This group of nine pieces was the last composition that Rachmaninoff wrote before emigrating from Russia, escaping the revolution just as the Leninist regime seized his estate. Each of the pieces begins by presenting a small melodic or rhythmic idea that is quickly drawn up into a concise, yet moving romantic fragment—each a brief tone poem for piano. The title “Tableaux” and their character would leave one to believe that Rachmaninoff had a subject in mind for each movement, but what those subjects were he never divulged. Instead, history has provided some nicknames, including “The Sea and the Seagull” (No. 2) and “Little Red Riding Hood” (No. 6).
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to hear a local virtuoso tackle one of Rachmaninoff’s most difficult and poignant works. Clark opened his tour on September 1st at Fisk University, and continues it on the 6th at Tennessee State University (Nashville), the 8th at the University of Tennessee (Chattanooga) and completes it in Murfreesboro on the 11th as part of MTSU’s Keyboard Artist Series. For more information, see http://www.mtsu.edu/music/keyboardseries.php