Please don’t let this last concert in the 2015 Essex Community Concert Series sneak up on you and pass you by. I have heard this world-renowned balalaika-player and his superb piano accompanist in concert, and I’d rank their musicianship with the very best we’ve ever hosted in this series – including Carol Williams on the organ. When Norma Goff and I heard them in the “Hill and Hollow” series in Saranac, the audience gave them a standing ovation ….. at intermission; and THEN demanded three encores! Terry Boyarasky, the pianist, was so tired after having played for almost two hours, that she could hardly sign the cover of a CD. Oleg seems indefatigable, and is almost magical the way he plays that instrument. If you’re searching your mind for an example of balalaika music, think “Doctor Zivago.”
They will be playing at the Essex Community Church on Friday evening, the 25th, at 7:00 PM, and we hope to fill the sanctuary with folks from all over Essex County who appreciate truly great music by first-rate musicians. Of the twelve pieces they played in Saranac, I only recognized two of the composers – George Frideric Handel and Franz List. But, of course, that is because we Americans are not familiar with Russian folk music or Russian composers, other than those who wrote for the piano or orchestra. Oleg did play one piece, “Old Banjo”, which must’ve been written for that instrument most of us would consider “American”, but which was actually brought to this country by slaves from Africa. It was written, however by Sergei Kachalin, who I would assume is Russian.
We’ve had to schedule this concert this late in September because Terry and Oleg wanted us to arrange for them to play in the local public schools to expose our young people to their music. Jennifer Moore has arranged for them to appear at the Willsboro and Westport Central Schools on Wednesday, the 23rd. We’re hoping those kids will go home and tell their parents not to miss this concert.
I hope you’ll be able to attend, and will tell your friends and neighbors about it. It isn’t exactly the “Bluegrass Gospel Project”, but is every bit as entertaining and uplifting.
- Essex Community Concert Series Presents Russian Duo (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)