Natasha Paremski: Music of Mussorgsky & Hersch

February 7, 2019, 9:00 am

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Pianist Natasha Paremski opens her new album with Mussorgsky’s most famous work, Pictures at an Exhibition. “This is a journey through ancient and mythic Russia, with a nod to the Franco-Russian love affair,” she writes in her liner notes for the album. “A work I have lived with the majority of my musical life, it never fails to surprise me in its scope, harmonic modernism, and classic Russian grandeur.” Complementing Pictures is a Russian-inspired piece by jazz pianist Fred Hersch, commissioned for Paremski by the Gilmore Foundation. As Paremski was born in Russia and Hersch himself has Russian heritage, he chose to write a series of variations on the famous oboe solo from Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony. Hersch’s variations incorporate a wealth of musical influences, from Scarlatti to Chopin to ragtime.