Young pianist Di Wu returns to Columbus to perform Sergei Rachmaninoff's very challenging and very popular Piano Concerto No. 2 in a concert with the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic conducted by David Bowden that opens with Mozart's overture to The Marriage of Figaro and includes Brahms Symphony No. 3.
The Challenge Of The Hands
"Yes, Rachmaninoff did have very large hands," Wu admits. "And there are some big chords, but he was very much a pianist-composer. He was very understanding of pianists and writes very well and comfortably for the hands. Actually Schumann and Schubert can present more challenging fingerings. "
The Challenge Of The Popularity
The Piano Concerto No. 2 has been featured prominently in films by directors as diverse as David Lean, Billy Wilder and Clint Eastwood. A theme from the second movement became Eric Carmen's "All By Myself" and another from the finale is featured in Buddy Kaye and Ted Mossman's "Full Moon and Empty Arms."
"Yes, I'm sure that many listeners will remember those songs and it might be tempting to overemphasize them," says Wu, "but I tend to stay close to what is written. I think that's my job to show the music in its original form. I think it will be a great concert with some of those melodies, but in their original form and place."