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Released September 24, 2004


HATTIESBURG -- Bringing to the stage some impressive classical works for cello and piano, Dr. Alexander Russakovsky, assistant professor of music at The University of Southern Mississippi, and pianist Dr. Theresa Sanchez will present a recital at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 3 in Marsh Auditorium.

The Sunday afternoon program will include J. S. Bach's C Major Suite, No. 3 for unaccompanied cello, Ludwig van Beethoven's Seven Variations on a theme from Mozart's "Magic Flute," Paul Hindemith's Sonata for Solo Cello, Op. 25, No. 3, and Frédéric Chopin's G Minor Sonata, Op. 65.

Composed during Bach's tenure as a Kapellmeister of the court orchestra in Cöthen, the six cello suites were forgotten for more than 150 years. Russakovsky said these works, however, "have enjoyed a great revival of interest in the early 20th century, largely due to the effort of the famous Catalan cellist Pablo Casals."

The 1801 renewal of Mozart's "Magic Flute" on the stage of the Viennese Court Theatre may have given Beethoven the impulse to compose his Seven Variations on Papageno and Pamina's popular duet "Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen."

"Emancipated from its traditional role of a continuo instrument, the cello appears in this work as an equal partner to the piano," Russakovsky explained.

Hindemith's Sonata, Op. 25, No. 3 reflects the intense musical atmosphere of the 1920s, with its variety of coexisting styles of late Romantic, Viennese expressionism and anti-romantic irony. Russakovsky said this piece is "one of the most successful 20th -century compositions for solo cello."

One of Chopin's last works, the G Minor Sonata Op. 65 was written in 1847 for a prominent French cellist and composer's friend, Auguste Franchomme. The only sonata Chopin wrote for an instrumental duo, it is, according to Jim Samson, professor of music at Royal Holloway and Chopin biographer, "a work of full maturity--meditative, introspective and profoundly original."

A graduate of the St. Petersburg Conservatory, Yale University, and the University of Santa Barbara, Russakovsky joined the Southern Miss School of Music faculty in the fall of 2001. A founding member of the Jerusalem Academy String Quartet and a participant in numerous international music festivals, he won the Clairmont Competition in Tel Aviv, the Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation Competition in Santa Barbara, the Bronstein Scholarship for the Arts from the Ohaj Festival, and the 1999 Career Grant of the Esperia Foundation.

Sanchez is a faculty member at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville and is a past president of the Mississippi Music Teachers Association. She has presented recitals in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Recent performance highlights include the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble at Southern Miss, as well as the Meridian Symphony Orchestra. She is the founding artistic administrator for the Vicksburg International Chamber Music Festival.

Recital admission is free and open to the public. For more information, call the School of Music cello studio at (601) 266-6851.


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October 25, 2004 5:04 PM