By Iride Aparicio

SILICON VALLEY -- Because of the world's pandemic, and the shelter-in-place directive from our  Governor, all public activities have been suspended in California, which is the reason why, starting today, CULTURAL WORLD BILINGUAL  will be using Hi-tech to allow our readership to be able to  see and listen to world's pianists, who sponsored by the  STEINWAY SOCIETY  The Bay Area, arrive in San José to play in monthly concerts. In cooperation  with the society, and from this day on, until life gets back to normal, our cultural website  will start publishing  CONCERTS  ONLINE  starting with  Russian pianist ALEXANDER SINCHUK, whose concert was going to be presented last Saturday,  March 21st at 7:30 PM  at the auditorium of  West Valley College in Saratoga. He will be playing  two RACHMANINOFF  pieces  that our readers will be able to listen and watch.

Belkisa Abdulovic BEMUS-1.jpg
    SINCHUK in concert     
Photo Courtesy: Beklisa Absolute


Born in the Russian Far East, ALEXANDER SINCHUCK  studied  piano at the Moscow Conservatory of  Music in Russia, where he  still works  as  an Assistant Professor, and at the University of Southern California School of  Music in Los Angeles.

ALEXANDER  SINCHUCK started being noticed in the musical world in 2008 when he won the first prize at the  International  RACHMANINOFF competition.  The  prize was  followed by another first prize  at the International HOROWITZ  piano competition.  Since then, SINCHUCK  has performed all over the world giving recitals and master classes. 

In 20ll, his performance at the  TCHAKOVSKY  Competition  received critical acclaim in the New York Concert Review which noted:  "He hurled himself at the PROKOFIEV Seventh Sonata  'Stalingrad'  as if we could see the carnage and smoking ruins  in his mindful eyes."

In their review of the artist, Literaturnay Gazeta  compared his  playing style with the style of SERGEI  RACHMANINOFF,  a masterful pianist,  and  described  SINCHUK   as  "A bright, emotional  powerful  pianist...(who) does not lose exquisite, soulful lyricism. "

To allow our readers to listen to the  pianist, we are enclosing two  of his performances:

Rachmaninoff - Piano Sonata 2 in B Flat minor part one

A Sonata is a  musical composition to be  played by a solo  instrument.  This piano Sonata  was originally composed in l913 by RACHMANINOFF  and  shortened  in l931, after the composer determined that the piece was too long, so he shortened and removed some of the difficult parts.

The Sonata form
The  Sonata form is musically shown as (ABA) with each letter representing a Movement.  The movements are usually three:  Exposition (where the theme is presented)  Development , with a completely different melody and tempo and Recapitulation where the musical theme is reinstated.  This sonata has  three movements and a coda which is called a Reception
An Allegro Agitato in B flat minor
A non Allegro (contrasting in tempo)  with parts in E major and others in e minor
An  Allegro Molto in B flat.
And a Reception.

If  we listen to the piece attentively we can identify  (at its very beginning  after a few chords)   the six-note  theme  or  Motif.   played on  the bass notes (the  low sounding notes played  by  the left hand) . The Motif is repeated one more time and slowly changes as the piece continues with fast scales going up and down  and will slowly, will   move to the Soprano notes but reduced  to five notes before the movement changes to A Non Allegro as the melody moves to the soprano voices of the piano, imitating the of the sounds of bells as the volume increases from Piano to forte. (loud).  Now the mood of the music changes from gay to  somber. as the notes move rapidly up and down the  pentagram. If we listen carefully we may be able to detect the Motif re-appearing at intervals before the music moves to the upper keyboards and becomes mellow in sound. Little by little the music starts moving faster and faster, slows down, and then the sound is heard in the highest notes with the pianist playing both the melody and its accompaniment inthe highest range of the piano. And just when we heard the Motif and believe that the pianist will complete it, the music stops and dies.   

If as we listen, we also pay attention to the  way  the pianist interprets the music of  this difficult RACHMANINOFF's   SONATA , we become  aware of many details: one of them  is  the dexterity that is required in the fingers of the pianist, to allow his listeners to  hear, clearly, the sound of  each note being  played, even when played at fast speed going up and down the pentagram.  We also become aware of  the different   'feelings'  the pianist projects when interpreting the the different Sonata's  movements.  The emotion he infuses in the  music. Also, interested to note is the vitality he injects to the sound and the  masterful way in which he  handles  the  contrast between loud (Forte) and soft (piano) to shape the melodies.  As critics, we could go on, but we are only mentioning here a few  of the  apparently "little details"  which makes a pianist a "concert pianist"  and   ALEXANDER SINCHUCK is a  great concert pianist.

Rachmaninoff. Concerto No 3 for piano and orchestra. Movement 1

In this second video, again playing  RACHMANINOFF, instead of putting our attention on SINCHUCK technique, we will put our attention to the way the great Russian composer  uses his composition around a piano solo.  At times, the pianist plays with the orchestra as another instrument. In  parts, the composer allows  the piano to  play a part of the music alone. In other parts, the piano is accompanied by a solo instrument, or  group of instruments such as the strings or  the winds. In each case, and this is interesting to note, that the sound of melody, which remain unchanged,  conveys to us, the listeners  a completely   "different sound." 

The  live  STEINWAY SOCIEY CONCERTS in Silicon Valley, will resume as soon as feasible, but in the meantime,  the society has suggested that those patrons  who are holding tickets for their  cancelled concerts may either apply for the value of these tickets or  donate  their tickets' cost  for a tax deductible donations using the website below:

The  STEINWAY SOCIETY  the Bay Area,  operates on a very tight budget and their ticket sales do not cover the full cost of bringing  us   the world's  best artists. Because of it,  we would like to suggest that if you are able to make a donation to help the society during this challenging times , your contribution will ensure that The STEINWAY SOCIETY can continue bringing  to us the greatest artists of our time and we all could benefit for it.