Monday night’s sampling of Russian composed chamber music was a delight to the senses. While I do consider myself a lover of various types of music, this was my first visit to the Sheldon Ballroom. The venue is beautiful although seating is very casual, as in round tables and chairs. However, if you enjoy classical music or would like to try a night out that’s a break from the norm, this would be a great place to start. And if the pomp and circumstance of symphonic events intimidates you, The Sheldon Ballroom may be more your speed.
The host and commentator for the evening started by comically explaining that they’d planned the event and named it The Russians Are Coming well before the political turmoil started with the most recent election. He then reminded us that we were there for art and not politics and it was apparent we were all united with our love of music. He also gave informative history lessons that went along with each piece which allowed me to emotionally connect with each composer before a note was even played.
As for the performers, they did not disappoint! Each group of musicians treated us to an amazing representation of the beautifully rich compositions from the likes of Prokofiev, Glazunov, Rachmaninoff, and my personal favorite, Tchaikovsky. The pianist on Rachmaninoff was simply impressive on Prelude, Opus 23 No 5 in G Minor. However, the invigorating performances of Tchaikovsky’s left me breathless. And the varied pace between frenzy and calm was a perfect complement to the thunder-storm raging outside. If you’d like to be swept away on a musical journey I highly recommend attending one of this season’s remaining concerts. You can find more information on their website at www.chambermusicstl.org