This is animation from "Fantasia 2000", the movie. See the firebird? It is such an imaginative tale of good and evil and the music is absolutely some of my favorite. I first performed it at Texas All State Orchestra for Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) convention in February of my senior year in high school. That was sometime last century. But the adrenaline rush was almost as great tonight, performing it with the local symphony. We played it well, and the audience received it well.
This is an image from amazon.com. The score of Finlandia is available there. Go figure. It is a powerhouse of national pride orchestrated and bursting with emotion. I loved playing it too.
The real star of tonight's concert was Di Wu.
O. My. Goodness gracious.
She is a tiny package of dynamite contained in the most lovely, tender, exquisite, pianistic tone. I just want to throw away my old recording of Chopin's Concerto in E and listen to her forever. I thought I would burst into tears when we rehearsed the second movement with her last night, because it was so beautiful.
Do check her performance calendar, and if she is appearing in your city, buy tickets. You will not be disappointed. Her control of the piano is so multifaceted that listening is much like hearing the various pipes of an organ, or like looking through a prism into endless colors. It was such pleasure!