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Serguei Rachmaninoff

Sunday, August 20, 2017


Norman Lebrecht - Slipped disc

July 31

Valery Gergiev recruits a British kid, 16

Norman Lebrecht - Slipped discThe Russian maestro has called up George Harliono, to play Rachmaninov’s second concerto with the Mariinsky orchestra in Vladivostok on August 5. George, 16, was born in Hackney, East London, and now lives near Cambridge where he studies with Professor Vanessa Latarche. He also travels to Switzerland to work with Vovka Ashkenazy and his father Vladimir Ashkenazy. ‘It is such an honour for me to have been asked to perform with Maestro Gergiev, he really is a world class conductor and I can’t wait to meet him,’ says the debutant.

Norman Lebrecht - Slipped disc

July 23

Vladimir Putin: These are my classical favourites

The Russian president has been talking to students about his classical tastes. ‘I always listened with pleasure and to so-called popular classical music – Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart, of course. Maybe, first of all, Mozart, for me. ‘Of our own – Rachmaninov. And Schubert/Liszt ‘Ständchen’ – wonderful, I really love this melody: Schubert in Liszt’s adaptation.’ On contemporary music: ‘Of course, it’s difficult for me to understand a composer such as Schnittke. Although he is very famous, and we are proud of him. But only a well-prepared listener understands all the variety and the depth of his works. I have not yet grown to this point, but I hope that I will continue to move in this direction.’ More on the event here.






My Classical Notes

June 26

Music for a Summer Night, with Renee Fleming

Summer Night Concert 2017 This recorded outdoor concert featured the following music: Dvorak: Carnival Overture, Op. 92 Za tihlou Gazelou (from Armida), with Renée Fleming (soprano) Mesícku na nebi hlubokém ‘Song to the Moon’ (from Rusalka), with Renée Fleming (soprano) Humperdinck: Hanse & Gretel Overture Rachmaninov: Twilight, Op.21 No. 3, with Renée Fleming (soprano) Ne poy, krasavitsa, pri mne, Op. 4 No. 4, with Renée Fleming (soprano) Spring torrents, Op. 14 No.11, with Renée Fleming (soprano) Stravinsky: The Firebird: Danse infernale du roi Kastchei Berceuse from The Firebird Finale from The Firebird Tchaikovsky: Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66 – Pas d’action Waltz from Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66 Williams, John: Hedwig’s Theme (from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone) All performed by the Wiener Philharmoniker, Christoph Eschenbach conducting. Fairytales and myths have inspired composers from time immemorial, and audiences, too, have invariably been entertained by the unending struggle between good and evil. Central to the Vienna Philharmonic’s 2017 Summer Night Concert are German, French, Russian and Czech fairytales as well as a contemporary fantasy figure that is Anglo-Saxon in origin. In 2017 the Summer Night Concert will again be conducted by one of the most distinguished musicians of our time. Christoph Eschenbach, who also conducted the 2014 Summer Night Concert, is in demand as a guest conductor for prominent orchestras and opera houses worldwide. Since 2010 he has been musical director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C. Having begun his career as a pianist, he learned conducting under George Szell and Herbert von Karajan. Since making his debut as a conductor in 1972, he has led renowned orchestras, including the Tonhalle-Orchester in Zurich, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Serguei Rachmaninoff
(1873 – 1943)

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1 April 1873 – 28 March 1943) was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. Rachmaninoff is widely considered one of the finest pianists of his day and, as a composer, one of the last great representatives of Romanticism in Russian classical music. Early influences of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, and other Russian composers gave way to a thoroughly personal idiom that included a pronounced lyricism, expressive breadth, structural ingenuity, and a tonal palette of rich, distinctive orchestral colors. The piano is featured prominently in Rachmaninoff's compositional output. He made a point of using his own skills as a performer to explore fully the expressive possibilities of the instrument. Even in his earliest works he revealed a sure grasp of idiomatic piano writing and a striking gift for melody.



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