All the drama, passion, despair and beauty that lie at the heart of Russian music feature in the Manukau Symphony Orchestra's last concert of the year.
Often considered one of the most challenging piano works ever written, Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No 3 in D Minor, Op30, is the feature of the TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre concert on December 8.
And the Eastern Courier is giving readers a chance to experience the Russian greats.
At the concerto's first performance the composer, a virtuoso pianist, performed the solo part.
In Manukau, New Zealand's own virtuoso concert pianist Michael Houstoun will join the orchestra to do justice to the great work.
Eastern European history is full of struggles of one kind or another.
Tchaikovsky's Marche Slave comes straight from the Serbian-Ottoman conflict of 1876.
Gorecki's Tranquillissimo from his Symphony of Sorrowful Songs brings the lone soprano voice - sung by Lilia Carpinelli - of an 18-year-old imprisoned in a concentration camp.
But not all Russian music is full of doom and gloom.
Music director and conductor Professor Uwe Grodd has chosen Kabalevsky's Galop from The Comedians to remind the audience of the joy of life.
And those who remember The Onedin Line will be delighted to recognise the adagio from Spartacus by Khatchaturian.
Mr Grodd says serious music lovers should mark the concert as one not to be missed and students of intermediate school age and upwards, especially those learning the piano, are encouraged to attend.
The concert starts at 7.30pm.
For tickets call Terry Spragg on 372 6572 or you can email: manukausymphony@ xtra.co.nz.
Bookings can also be made at the TelstraClear booking office on 966 1743 or online with Ticket Direct at ticketdirect.co.nz. The Eastern Courier is giving away double passes to the Manukau Symphony Orchestra's Russian Greats concert.
To enter the draw write your name, address and a daytime phone number on the back of an envelope and send it to Russian Greats Competition, Eastern Courier, PO Box 76-400, Manukau. It should reach us by 12pm on December 3.
One entry to each person please.
- © Fairfax NZ News