For millions of fans, Igudesman & Joo is…
…synonymous with Rachmaninoff, thanks to their viral hit “Rachmaninoff Had Big Hands”. Now the duo symphonically and rhapsodically celebrate their hero while achieving the impossible by making his epic Piano Concerto No.2 even more epic through reuniting all the songs this concerto spawned sung by legends such as Frank Sinatra and Céline Dion. “Rachmaninov by Himself” honors Eric Carmen’s own tribute to Rachmaninov, where loneliness is so infectious that the whole orchestra breaks down in tears.
In “Flight of the Bumble Hornet”, Igudesman & Joo respectfully arrange Rachmaninoff’s arrangement of Rimsky-Korsakov’s classic and turn the orchestra into green hornets and buzzing bees! The autobiographical humorous song “They Call Me Sergei” pictures the composer’s hardships and “Everyone is here” anticipates the inseparable trio Igudesman & Joo and Sergei Rachmaninoff.
“Rachmaninoff Rhapsody” is a show that can fit just as easily into any regular orchestral subscription series or serve to celebrate those special festive occasions, such as Carnival, New Year, or even April Fool’s Day. After all, Rachmaninoff was born on April Fool’s Day- (April 1st, 1873)- and that is no joke. It is a show that will the audience feeling, as best described in the words spoken by Marilyn Monroe from the movie The Seven Year Itch:
“Every time I hear Rachmaninoff I go to pieces” It shakes me, it quakes me. It makes me feel goose-pimply all over. Don’t stop, don’t stop! Don’t ever stop!”
Igudesman & Joo have no plans to stop with Rachmaninoff at their side.
Prior to our thanksgiving concert with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Music Director Manfred Honeck and the dynamic duo Igudesman and Joo, there was much scepticism within the organization as to how the orchestra and audience would react. However, our minds were put at ease the minute they arrived! They were incredibly professional, obviously very talented, and provided a breath of fresh air for the orchestra and PSO staff. It was such a joy to have them with us, and we received such great feedback from our patrons and the musicians that we immediately reinvited them to join us for a special concert with the orchestra the following year!
“What makes the slapstick duo so original is not that they turn classical music culture upside-down and inside out, but that they never mess with the music itself, treating that with not just respect, but with astonishing virtuosity.”