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With his "winning blend of rapturous lyricism and dramatic flair" (San Jose Mercury News), Ilya Yakushev marks his PPI debut with a fascinating program that unites Classical elegance and fiery modernism.
The sunny opening trills and music-box precision of Haydn's Sonata in D Major contrast with Mozart's shadowy Adagio in B Minor, a meditative work that weeps with melancholy. And on the second half, Yakushev brings his vibrant, characterful interpretations of 20th-century masterworks to the stage — from the menacing militarism of Prokofiev's Sonata No. 7 to Gershwin's Three Preludes, which seamlessly integrate the lush harmonies of European Romanticism with the spiky rhythms of American jazz.
"One of the very best young pianists before the public today" (American Record Guide), Ilya Yakushev employs his captivating artistry and performance style in two of Beethoven's most treasured sonatas: the "Moonlight" and the "Appassionata," works of raw expression that spin their mysterious opening passages into epic musical journeys.
A pair of Liszt works showcase the splendor of the Romantic spirit, both evocative outpourings of love that heave with intensity. And Gershwin's glorious Rhapsody in Blue — heard in its dazzling version for solo piano — gives Yakushev endless opportunities to showcase both the soulful and puckish sides of his personality.