Today, we are honored to continue the interview with Professor Alexander Shtarkman, who speaks about the richness of his Russian musical heritage. How do Russian pianists stand out among all the talents around the world? Mr. Shtarkman thinks it’s the singing quality of sound on the piano, and the deep passion rooted from Russian history and culture. "The Russian church has the tradition of singing, of having a choir, a chorus in church, and that’s what scientists and researchers, and journalists, and writers, and musicologists, they think that this really special sound-making, really special phrase-shaping attitude towards the singing on piano, that is one of the essential parts of almost any of the representatives of Russian piano school. This is one of the essential qualities of the school, of the education. I think what gives people heritage is the culture, what they went through together, as the unity, as the people, right? And if you look at Russian history, you see so much suffering and struggle. You get astonished, you get stunned, and then those people that deal with art probably are a little more sensitive than the others. And maybe when they see this, maybe that’s what makes people more deep, or more intense, should I say, more sensitive to this, and there comes the passion that you want to do something about it. It’s not only piano. It’s not only music. It’s many aspects of artistic life; take the theater, take the movie. So I think everything of this has some role in what we talked about, be it the history of the nation, be it the destiny of the nation, be it the artistic output of the nation. I think that plays some role."We’ll listen to his performance of Sonata Tragica, Op. 39 No. 5, composed by Nikolai Medtner, one of the most significant Russian piano virtuosos and composers.