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Lautreamont Concert at A.C. Pianocraft, Inc., an Evening of Rachmaninov, Stravinsky, and Beethoven
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Lautreamont Concert at A.C. Pianocraft, Inc., an Evening of Rachmaninov, Stravinsky, and Beethoven

- Classical and Cultural Connections

The Lautreamont Concert Series

A.C. Pianocraft, Inc.
(A.C. Pianocraft, Inc. Website)
333 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019

Georgy Valtchev and Steven Zynszajn, Violins
Julia MacLaine, Cello
Whitney La Grange, Viola
Steven Graff, Piano
Maxim Pakhomov, Piano

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 6, 2006


“Devil’s Trill” Sonata, G. Tartini (1692-1770), Arr. Kreisler
Steven Zynszajn, Violin
Steven Graff, Piano

Suite for Two Pianos, Op. 18, S. Rachmaninov (1873-1943), Valse, Romance
Maxim Pakhomov, Piano I
Steven Graff, Piano II

Petrouchka, I. Stravinsky (1882-1971), Fourth Tableau, Day at the Shrove Tide Fair, Toward Evening
Steven Graff, Piano I
Maxim Pakhomov, Piano II

Symphonie Fantastique, H. Berlioz (1803-1869), Arr. Zynszajn, Rêveries-Passions
String Quartet (Valtchev, Zynszajn, La Grange, MacLaine)

String Quartet in C Minor, Op. 18, No. 4, L. v. Beethoven (1770-1827), Allegro ma non tanto, Scherzo: Andante scherzoso, Quasi allegretto, Menuetto: Allegretto, Allegro
String Quartet (Valtchev, Zynszajn, La Grange, MacLaine)

The Lautreamont Concert Series is named for Isidore Ducasse, Comte de Lautreamont, a late nineteenth century literary figure. Performing at Alex Kostakis’ A.C. Pianocraft, on two elegantly restored, antique Steinways, two violins, one viola, and one cello, tonight’s ensemble presented a warm, versatile, and fascinating program, including works by Rachmaninov, Stravinsky, Berlioz, Beethoven, and the lesser known Tartini. The pieces evoked intense edginess, resonant rapture, surreal ballet, dreamlike reverie, and regal entertainment. In the course of the evening, the Lautreamont ensemble configured as pianist-violinist, duo pianists, and string quartet.

The Tartini work included slow, deliberate passages, interestingly interpreted by Mr. Zynszajn on violin and Mr. Graff on piano. Extended moments of silence were dramatic, and Mr. Graff never overwhelmed the violin solos, some of which generated numerous notes on a single trill. The Rachmaninoff Suite, with rippling passages and echoing refrains, exuded elegance and etherealness. Both Mr. Pakhomov’s and Mr. Graff’s rapid fingering contrasted with the more soulful effects. These two magnificent, antique Steinways created the sound imagery of an entire orchestra, with the lower chords adding richness and drama.

The Petrouchka Tableau was reminiscent of Fokine’s ballet, originally danced by Nijinsky and later Nureyev. Mr. Graff and Mr. Pakhomov performed with flowing musicality, as the strong entrance built levels of surrealism and impressionism. Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique, in a string quartet arrangement by Mr. Zynszajn, was noteworthy for fluttering bow effects, especially on Ms. MacLaine’s cello. The edgy violins soared up and down the scale with engaging mournfulness.

As the finale, Beethoven’s String Quartet in C Minor seemed to be the most comfortable to the four musicians, with a vibrant Allegro, a swirling Scherzo, a regal Menuetto, and a devilish, final Allegro. Mr. Valtchev played with a fiery and possessed presence, and Mr. Zynszajn played with seamless abandon. Ms. La Grange performed with studied poise on her viola, and Ms. MacLaine offered depth and drama with the richness of her cello.

A wine and hors d’oeuvres reception followed with the artists, guests, and Alex Kostakis.

The Lautreamont Concert Ensemble - Maxim, Steven Z, Whitney, Steven G, Julia, Georgy

Steven Graff and Maxim Pakhomov

Post-Concert Reception

Post-Concert Reception

Alex Kostakis and Donna, Guest

Roberta, Alex, Donna

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at