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Sergei Rachmaninoff and Russian Orientalia 

click to enlarge Vassily Primakov
  • Vassily Primakov

March 21. One of history's greatest pianists, Sergei Rachmaninoff, luckily for us, was born just at the start of the era in which the technology emerged to record him. But, perhaps due to the happy abundance of the recordings that display his astounding abilities, there are those who would argue that he's gotten short shrift as a composer. Called the last great composer of the Russian Romantic tradition, Rachmaninoff is best known as such for his fleet Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (1934) for solo piano and symphony orchestra. This program at the Mahawie Performing Arts Center, however, explores the mesmeric maestro's small-scale works via the prodigious hands of Russian pianist Vassily Primakov and Israeli-American cellist Yehuda Hanani, and centers, naturally, on his Sonata for Piano and Cello. ("Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse" gets staged March 5; Cirque Ziva spellbinds March 15 and 16.) 6pm. $25, $45. Great Barrington, Massachusetts. (413) 528-0100; Mahaiwe.org.

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