Today I am very happy to announce my new upcoming chamber music project with the wonderful Ukrainian-American cellist Eugene Lifschitz: we will perform in Germany and Switzerland in 2019. The repertoire will consist of three works: Frédéric François Chopin Sonata in G minor op.65, Stanislav Fridman “The Spiral of Souls”, a commissioned work, which we will premiere during this project, and Sergei Rachmaninoff Sonata in G minor op.19.
The project is centered around this very feeling, which the three composers, as well as the performers share: the never-ending search of the roots, a place to call home. Since it is crucial to not get lost in the chaos of this world, we all, immigrants, will always intuitively seek something to remind us of our homeland. Without this base, the knowledge, the constant bitterness and nostalgia no immigration has ever been possible.
The stories of both, Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) and Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) is very much alike in a few aspects: both had to leave their home country and immigrate to a foreign land, never to return. Another very interesting thing to note is that each of them composed only one sonata for cello and piano, and both sonatas coincidentally happen to be in the key of G minor.
The two composers always kept longing for their home countries (Poland and Russia), however, because of certain obstacles, neither of them ever returned (even with a visit). Both were inspired by the folk tunes of their motherland, and kept writing in letters that they always missed the familiar surroundings, friends and family, and so on… Rachmaninoff settled in his Villa Senar every summer between 1832-1839, which is located near Hertenstein near Lake Lucerne. He always loved living and working on his villa, where he felt especially calm and peaceful.
Interesting to note that we, the artists, (Elina Akselrud, Eugene Lifschitz, and Stanislav Fridman) were all born exactly in between the home countries of the two composers (in Ukraine) and we are immigrants ourselves. One never knows where life can bring us in the future, however we already do know the feeling of the nostalgia that one has, when longing for home.
In our project we will speak about this state of human mind, by the means of music, and our own artistic expression. Stanislav Fridman composed his new work “Spiral of Souls” for cello and piano specifically for this project. We, the three musicians, believe that this subject is very important for the audience to contemplate and we feel honored to have the opportunity to present this wonderful music to the German and Swiss public.