The Darkness & The Light

As he prepares for a forthcoming recital at London’s Wigmore Hall and a chamber concert in Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall (details below), concert pianist Emanuel Rimoldi considers the emotional landscape of the music he is rehearsing …

Guest post by Emanuel Rimoldi

Often in music we can find some interesting physiological aspects; one of those is without doubt the relation between darkness and light.

In fact it is always the case that even a small light is visible in the deepest darkness and the opposite is true; because of the light, the shadows exist. So, the existence of both elements is what creates the real spark of light inside the music.

Composers like Schumann and Rachmaninov had several mental health problems during their life. However, the shadow which gripped their existence transformed, thanks to music.

The music of Rachmaninov, relating to his life, is often full of the sadness and depression he felt inside; however it also includes the presence of the light. This light, evident in his music, is also thought to be the constant presence of religion, which exists through the presence of the soul, and the love for lost homeland and humanity.

The Elegiac Trio, which I will perform at HOME with Manchester Camerata on 2 February, begins with the tempo “Lento Lugubre” and ends with “funeral march”, and has an illusion of death much like the elegiac trio of Tchaikovsky who dedicated his trio “To the memory of a great artist”, referring to his friend and teacher Nicholas Rubinstein, the founder of the Moscow Conservatory, whose death in 1881 consumed Tchaikovsky with grief.

The idea of death is obviously very present in many composers of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries.

Schumann, who had a major mental illness in his life, was able to create many differences of character thanks to his relationship and proximity to that border with the indefinite, the intangible and none human, which takes out our stability, giving us back a more profound feeling of existence and consciousness. In his compositions, such as the Humoreske or Kinderszenen, this alternativity and fight between the duality of the dark and light, between life and death, is constant.

Often people, through pain, can create art that can transform the feeling of suffering in something that passes over; a catharsis which connects the composer with the player and with the public.

That’s why I consider it very important to listen to live concerts, because this union, this empathy, happens in real live performance.

Emanuel Rimoldi performs:

emanuel-rimoldi-3Manchester, 2nd February 2017

Emanuel Rimoldi will perform UPCLOSE—THE NEXT GENERATION at HOME with Manchester Camerata on Thursday 2 February at 7.30pm. This concert is in collaboration with The Keyboard Trust.

Thursday 2 February 2017 7:30 pm
HOME, Manchester

Schumann:  Quintet in E flat major, Op.44
Rachmaninov:  Trio Elegiaque No.1 in G minor
Wolf:  Italian Serenade
Hendrix:  Purple Haze

Emanuel Rimoldi piano
Manchester Camerata Principal Musicians

Box Office: 0161 907 9000 /

In person: The Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3WS

£15 / £8 Student Tickets / Groups: 6 tickets for price of 5
In collaboration with The Keyboard Trust

London, Wigmore Hall, 24th January 2017

Full details available here:

Emanuel’s Website:

Published by

Andrew Eales

Andrew Eales is a pianist, writer and teacher based in Milton Keynes UK. He runs a successful independent teaching studio and music education business, Keyquest Music.

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