City Paper is not for tourists
If Geoffrey Rush’s performance in Shine is to be believed, Rachmaninoff will make you go crazy. Perhaps not coincidentally, Rachmaninoff wrote his Third Piano Concerto years after a spectacularly bad performance of his work by a drunk composer sent him on a three-year depressive bender, from which he emerged only after undergoing hypnosis therapy. This piece debuted in his 1909 U.S. tour to poor reviews (the New York Sun said it was “tinged with melancholy” and “too long”) but its popularity grew over time, as its complexity made it a favorite among pianists looking to show off. Irish soloist Barry Douglas will tackle the famously difficult and possibly schizophrenia-inducing piece with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Keeping with the theme of alcoholic composers, the concert continues with Jean Sibelius’ self-declared greatest symphony, his Seventh. A unique single movement symphony, it was so good that Sibelius was unable to write another one before his death 33 years later. The performance begins at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda. $21–$84. (877) 276-1444.