“Around Russia: the heart of northern romanticism” – that could be a description of the last, final concert of the XII Winter International Arts Festival in Sochi. The northern sound images will fill the Winter Theater of the southern city with dark, nostalgic notes.
“His music, filled with charming melancholy, showing all the beauty of Norwegian nature, sometime majestic and sublime, sometimes grey, humble and miserable, but nevertheless absolutely charming for the northern people’s soul, has something near and dear, immediately finding strong compassion in our hearts”, said Pyotr Tchaikovsky about the music of Grieg. Two composers got acquainted in Germany, when they saw the new year 1888 in at the hospitable Russia violinist Adolph Brodsky. Their meeting resulted in deep and sincere friendship. Tchaikovsky invited Grieg to play in Russia, however they have never met in Tchaikovsky’s homeland…
The concert will comprise two most popular compositions of the Norwegian master: Suite No. 1 from the music to the Ibsen’s drama “Peer Gynt”, in which Grieg showed the main idea of the play writer: the image of the Homeland, accepting and giving comfort to the prodigal son; and the Piano Concerto. The Concerto written 150 years ago, was highly appreciated by Franz Liszt and Anton Rubinstein; even today, this Grieg’s Concerto is among the favorite compositions of any pianist.
The Concerto will be performed by the soloist – one of the most outstanding musicians of his generation, worth successor of high traditions of the Russian Piano School – honoured artist of Russia Nikolai Lugansky.
The Concert includes the early compositions of Tchaikovsky, belonging to his Moscow period: popular Nocturne from Piano Op. 19 is often performed by cello, however this time Maestro Yuri Bashmet will play it on viola. Fantasy overture “Romeo and Juliet” became the first composition of Tchaikovsky which expressed the tragedy theme in such a powerful way; the composer was unhappy with the initial version of the overture and amended it several times.
In his Rhapsody on the Theme of Paganini, Rachmaninoff showed the internal tragedy of the Artist who is in continuous disagreement with himself, in continuous struggle of light against darkness, trying to get his soul. The image of a mysterious genius, who sold his soul to devil, impressed the Russian composer. In the variations, the music periodically returns to the initial, rigid graphical theme of Paganini. However, the final “melting”, spilling coda is really unexpected. It still does not answer the main questions of Existence. The Rhapsody is performed by Idil Biret, famous Turkish pianist, graduated from Paris Conservatory, student of Alfred Cortot.
The New Russia State Symphony Orchestra is directed by Maestro Yuri Bashmet.