This preview has been provided by Chamber Music Raleigh.

On Sunday, December 6, 2015, at 3:00 pm, pianist Olga Kleiankina presents this season’s second installment in Chamber Music Raleigh’s popular Sights and Sounds on Sundays series at the North Carolina Museum of Art.  Ms. Kleiankina, currently on the music faculty at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, will perform thirty one preludes for the piano, coordinated with projected images of carefully chosen art works that complement the music.

It is difficult to overstate the importance of the prelude as a pianistic genre.  Virtually all significant composers of keyboard music, from Johann Sebastian Bach to the present, have been interested in it.  In the music of Bach, the prelude fulfilled a role that was reflective of the meaning of the word itself:  it led to something that comes after, usually a fugue.  In the music of later composers, the prelude evolved into a piece that stood on its own, but was often grouped with other preludes to form important sets of pieces.  Ms. Kleiankina has chosen the music of five composers to present:  Claude Debussy, Alexander Scriabin, Fryderyk Chopin, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Dimitri Shostakovich.

She began working on the concept of this program about a year and a half ago, in preparation for a program at NCSU in November 2014.  She became fascinated with the connections between these composers, and how later composers like Shostakovich and Scriabin responded to the music of Chopin.  She also is interested in exploring the emotional content of the music as it is reflected in various works of art.

Lest the concert-goer is daunted by the prospect of hearing thirty one pieces performed on one program, it should be noted that piano preludes are often quite brief, and some of the world’s most familiar pieces can be found in their number.  The listener is sure to recognize several of the pieces that will be presented, such as the preludes in E minor and D flat major by Chopin, or the prelude in G minor by Rachmaninoff, or the Girl with the Flaxen Hair, by Debussy.  Ms. Kleiankina has carefully chosen paintings from a wide variety of artists, which will be displayed during the performance of each piece.  One might wonder what type of music would fit well with Salvador Dali’s Soft Construction with Boiled Beans, or Edvard Munch’s The Scream, or Claude Monet’s Morning on the Seine in the Rain.  While there are no definitive answers to such questions, Ms. Kleiankina will share her views with us during the performance on December 6.

As an added bonus, there will be a docent-led tour prior to the concert, during which patrons can learn more about the art works that have been selected to accompany the music.

This is a program that promises to delight the ear and the eye, to entertain and enlighten.

Don’t miss it!

Kent Lyman
Professor of Music, Meredith College
Steinway Artist