It was a close call this time, with Valentina winning by just one vote! We are all sad to say goodbye to Lang Lang for now, but I encourage you to follow his videos on YouTube. He is an exciting and dynamic performer!
This month, our new red corner challenger will be the incredible Nikolai Lugansky. Nikolai is a Russian pianist and currently teaches at the Moscow Conservatory of Music. When he was only five years old and couldn't read music yet, Nikolai taught himself a Beethoven Sonata entirely by ear! He has gone on to have an extensive recording career and has worked with other famous musicians and conductors all over the world.
For this challenge, Nikolai and Valentina will be playing Rachmaninoff's Prelude in G-sharp minor. This piece was composed in 1910 during a period when Rachmaninoff was being forced to flee his homeland for fear of persecution. Can you hear the sleigh bells on the carriage mixed with the sad melody Rachmaninoff composed to express his feelings?
Here is Nikolai Lugansky's version:
And here is Valentina Litsitsa's:
Which is your favorite? Why?