Mosaic / Music / Reviews / May 2, 2012

Russian soloist ends KGS season

Knox-Galesburg Symphony ended their season with a varied selection and a marvelous soloist that gave audience members a fruitful night of music.

Russian soloist Mikhall Petukhov transcended the language barrier on Saturday night with a glowing performance on piano during the final concert of the season.

“I liked the mixture of periods of music,” junior Cole Atcheson said.

The night started with a relatively new piece “Gone Today” by Robinson McClellan. The piece featured non-standard symphonic instruments in a majestic way. The exciting peak of the piece was just the start of an energy filled concert.

Petukhov shined on the Allegro movements of “Concerto in D minor” and the “Concerto in E Major” by Johann Bach. Unfortunately, the slower movements often dragged on and didn’t allow for the soloist to fully shine. The performer showed that he was not all flash and provided moving moments of serenity during the quieter parts of the Bach pieces.

“He showed great technical skill while still having a human element,” sophomore Kailee Gawlik said. Petukhov was comfortable with the pieces, often looking toward the ceiling or down at the keys during the performance.

The reduced orchestra provided a tight performance with the piano work of the soloist while allowing his sound to reach every corner of the Orpheum Theatre. Petukhov’s encore performance of Bach’s six-voice Ricerare from “Musical Offering” was outstanding and received one of the largest responses from the audience this season.

“It’s a big sound something — you don’t get from playing the recordings,” freshman Emma Robillard said.

After the intermission the night finished with the exciting Pyotr Tchaikovsky “5th Symphony.” The piece replaced “Pictures at an Exhibition,” which was switched due to licensing issues. While “Pictures” is an outstanding piece, Tchaikovsky’s 5th was an excellent replacement.

The surprise of the night came from the principle horn, Randall Faust, who provided a powerful solo during the performance of Tchaikovsky’s “5th Symphony.” Tchaikovsky’s 5th provided an energetic end to a season, while letting the woodwind and brass section shine over an often string dominant symphony.

John Williams

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