On Friday night, I went to see the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. They began the program with Stravinsky's Le Baiser de la fee followed by The Firebird also by Stravinsky. The real reason I went to this concert was for the last piece, directly after intermission.
18 year old Natasha Paremski was the featured pianist on Rachmaninoff's 2nd piano concerto Op. 18. At just 16 she made her debut at Carnegie Hall. Hearing her play was a huge inspiration for me. She played all three movements with extreme finess and emotion. The beginning of the concerto starts with about 10 big chords, starting with ppp and ending with a fff. Her crescendo through this was perfect, as each chord was bigger and fuller. Through half of the piece she wasn't even looking at the piano. She was so involved in the music and emotionally in the music, that her eyes were closed through half of it. One bad thing about this performance is that the accoustics of the Steinway weren't very clear and was very bottom heavy. All of the fast runs that Paremski played were amazing but weren't completely heard for much of the concert. The orchestra over powered some of the runs, which was unfortunate. It was really amazing to here the contrasting moods in all three movements that she played. There were some incredible moments in the second movement as she played VERY lyrical and the orchestra did an outstanding job of accompaning her. Through the entire piece she played very effortlessly. Many of her octave runs normally would cause people to be very tense, but it didn't seem to phase her at all. Overall it was the best piano performance that I have ever witnessed and after watching it I was VERY anxious to get back and practice.