Flavio's First Concerto: Becoming A Great Classical Pianist: Crossing Rachmaninoff

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Flavio's First Concerto: Becoming A Great Classical Pianist: Crossing Rachmaninoff by

Title Flavio's First Concerto: Becoming A Great Classical Pianist: Crossing Rachmaninoff
Producer Tim Storey, executive producer, and Rebecca Tansley, producer and director
Director Rebecca Tansley
Starring {{{starring}}}
Publisher Movie Produced by Minerva Productions, Youtube channel: Perspective
Year 2015
Language English and Italian with English subtitles
Format {{{format}}}
Geographic reference Auckland, Italy
Time reference
Online resource YES
Subcategory {{{subcategory}}}
Topic Music, Italian musicians in New Zealand, Italiani in Nuova Zelanda, Italian pianist, Sexuality

You can find the video here

The documentary movie Crossing Rachmaninoff, which follows Auckland-based, Italian-born pianist Flavio Villani as he prepares to play Sergei Rachmaninoff’s demanding Piano Concerto No. 2 in Italy, is now available on Youtube.

On 9 June 2021 Flavio Villani wrote a commentary on his Fb Page which reads:

"I didn't know until today that "Crossing Rachmaninoff", the documentary I was a part of in 2015, is now available on YouTube. Despite the vulnerabilities and imperfections it shows - of a pianist who's yet to find himself - I am proud of the journey this piece of art made me walk. These are just few words to share my experience of it all.

The subtitle they chose on the YouTube channel "becoming a great pianist" doesn't really resonate with me - nor the intent of the documentary. I wasn't a great pianist then, nor playing this Concerto made me become one. I might take a lifetime to be able to tell myself I am an OK pianist, but I can definitely tell myself I'm now a better pianist than 5 years ago. Or even one year ago. When this film was made I was barely floating on the surface of what playing the piano really is. And it's fascinating to know that the depth of today might still be the surface of tomorrow.

But the intent of this film wasn't to record the best rendition of Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto. It was indeed the very first time I even played that feat - or anything at all with an orchestra anyway. And it warms my heart to have read reviews from around the world who, being musicians with good ears or not, have been inspired by the story within. The story we all carry.

One thing I will ever be grateful for in being part of this film, is how it brought my family so much closer. Prior to that date we hadn't been able as a family to address and talk openly about my sexuality. I am gay and that shouldn't really matter, I am human, who cares, but when such a defining part of oneself is constantly put at the back, in the shadow, unmentioned and neglected, shrouded with shame and contempt, when we do that to ourselves, it takes a toll in one's self worth. This film allowed us to be open and find our love despite it. It made me love back my family in ways I didn't think possible. It made me see the pride in my dad's eyes. And hear the many contradictions we keep telling ourselves as humans. They too are part of what we are. It taught me that people need hope, because your perseverance through failures will always inspire others to keep seeking their best - and if this story gave anybody, even one person, the strength, the glimpse of trying a little more, believe in oneself, go through hardship despite the sacrifices and odds, then it was worth to be told. And the letters I have received in the past few years are a testament to that. Thank you all for giving that strength back to me by reaching out.

And thank you Director Rebecca Tansley for the beauty you showed through this path shared with little me wannabe pianist. Thanks for believing in him. Thanks for believing in me. That belief, despite my underlining certainty all these years of being at odds or unworthy of the mainstream musical scene, is what inspired me to search for my own belief and look for the joys of what I do and want to do with my life and music - one day at a time freer of others' anxious seek for approval."

Reviews of the movie:
New Zealand International Film Festival
New Zealand Herald
Stuff NZ