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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ostankino Satisfies Performer's 'Ideals'

When the bushy-haired and lanky Alexander Maykapar starts talking about playing in the Ostankino Palace Theater, his whole demeanor changes. He leans forward in his seat, his eyes dance and he pronounces the estate's early 19th-century Steinway square salon piano "the ideal instrument" in an "ideal setting."

"The harpsichord and the early fortepiano do not have the volume or the brightness of the modern day concert grand," said Maykapar, an internationally acclaimed pianist and harpsichordist. "Therefore when they are played in large modern concert halls, the results can be less than satisfactory."

This summer Maykapar is the featured performer at the thrice-weekly summer concert series offered at the ornate Ostankino Palace, giving the program a focus on the music that was once heard in just such estates in the 18th and 19th centuries. This palace, located in the shadow of the massive Ostankino television tower, was built in the 1790s for Count Nicholas Sheremetyev and his wife, a gifted opera singer.

Maykapar, who himself selects the Ostankino programs, is performing Friday at 6:30 p.m. an all Haydn and Mozart evening entitled "Viennese Classics on the Early Fortepiano." It includes two unpublished sonatas by Haydn that were recently discovered in a Moravian monastery and, Maykapar said, showcases Ostankino's Steinway. His performances on this instrument have been recorded on "The Origins of Russian Piano Music,"a three-volume set on the Olympia label.

Other programs this month by Maykapar include "Masterpieces of the Baroque" on Wednesday and "Music of Russian Estates at the end of the 18th to the beginning of the 19th centuries," on Aug. 14. He joins flutist Alexander Korneyev on Aug. 9 for "Baroque music for flute and harpsichord," and the chamber orchestra "Cantus Firmus" for two concerts on Aug. 16 and 21.

Ostankino's summer program closes Sept. 4 with a performance by the Moscow State Instrumental Capella. They will be performing Rimsky-Korsakov's "Mozart and Salieri," a one-act opera based on the tragedy by Pushkin.

Ostankino Palace, 5 Ostankinskaya Ulitsa. For program information call 283-4645. Nearest metro: VDNKh. Concerts are held Wednesday and Friday evenings at 6:30 pm., and Sunday afternoons at 4 pm.