Connect with us

All Articles

Music Premieres At Casa Italiana

This past Wednesday, Casa Italiana showcased pianist Konstantin Soukhovetski. He performed selections from Philip Glass’s The Hours score as well as his own solo piano arrangements of Strauss’s Capriccio and “Four Last Songs.” This concert featured the premiere of Soukhovetski’s arrangement of the final scene of Verdi’s La Traviata. Traviata obsessor Alexandra Svokos was, naturally, there.

Soukhovetski is a very talented pianist. He is able to play complicated compositions with east and has very strong technique–if a little heavy on the pedal. His overall ability is very impressive, as demonstrated throughout his performance on Wednesday.

Traviata’s that opera I listen to once a month because I’m clichéd like that, but really I could sing to you the whole damn thing without missing a beat. It woudn’t be pretty, but it could happen. Soukhovetski apparently feels the same, but he has a piano and the technical ability of arranging and playing.

Soukhovetski’s arrangement of the final scene of La Traviata was a veritable musical play-by-play of the scene. This is an impressive feat: fitting a full orchestra and all singers into two hands on one piano is not an easy thing to do, but he managed it–and without making it sound like an accompaniment part.

Still, there is inevitably something lacking without the vocals. The drive of La Traviata comes from the human emotion onstage and is often influenced by the way the soprano chooses to represent the dying Violetta. In a piano arrangement, you can’t see a devastated girl stalk haltingly across the stage, or have someone interpreting the spoken reading of a letter, or hear Natalie’s heart-wrenching rip of “È tardi!”

I wondered why Mr. Soukhovetski chose to do this. It was such a literal interpretation of Verdi’s original music–yes, it’s beautiful, but what does it add? As I sat contemplating this, a little boy on his mother’s lap beside me began banging out the notes on his imaginary keyboard, really going in on those grandiose final chords. He reminded me that that’s why people like Soukhovetski do this, because beautiful music has to be shared and celebrated, in any way possible. So don’t be confused the next time you see me when I start singing a horribly off-key “Addio del passato” at you. I’m just handling my responsibility.

Write a comment

Your email address will not be published.


1 Comment

  • wow says:

    @wow Hey thanks for putting that video up. The music is great. and the music this video suggests at the end… omg… Violetta Aria from La Traviata… omg

  • Have Your Say

    What should Bwog's new tagline be?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

    Recent Comments

    They did Barnard yesterday. But to be fair, this is a Columbia College publication as is Spectator. Most clubs (read more)
    Columbia Announces Reopening Plans For 2020-2021 Year
    July 9, 2020
    :) you're a shining star!!!!! (read more)
    Senior Wisdom: Rania Siddique
    July 8, 2020
    The other deans also sent emails, but guess y'all will just ignore those because y'all think CC is the only (read more)
    Columbia Announces Reopening Plans For 2020-2021 Year
    July 8, 2020
    did you ever get it? :( (read more)
    Fake It Till You Make It
    July 8, 2020

    Comment Policy

    The purpose of Bwog’s comment section is to facilitate honest and open discussion between members of the Columbia community. We encourage commenters to take advantage of—without abusing—the opportunity to engage in anonymous critical dialogue with other community members. A comment may be moderated if it contains:
    • A slur—defined as a pejorative derogatory phrase—based on ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, or spiritual belief
    • Hate speech
    • Unauthorized use of a person’s identity
    • Personal information about an individual
    • Baseless personal attacks on specific individuals
    • Spam or self-promotion
    • Copyright infringement
    • Libel