May 16, 2023 |Tchaikovsky Concert Hall
Solist – Boris Berezovsky, piano
Conductor – Arsenty Tkachenko
Medtner. Concerto No. 2 for piano and orchestra in C minor, Op. 50
Tchaikovsky. Manfred Symphony in B minor, Op. 58
The headliner of the NPR's program compiled of gems by Russian classics will be the world-known pianist Boris Berezovsky. The RF Merited Artist and a Steinway artist, Boris Berezovsky is one of the most sought-after pianists whose mastery is marked by virtuosity, ingenuity and repertoire versatility. The winner of the 9th Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (1990) he performs in the best concert halls all over the world, collaborating with top orchestras and esteemed conductors. He regularly plays with the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia.
The works by Nikolai Medtner are of utmost importance for Boris Berezovsky. The pianist is regarded as a reference interpreter of his works and is a staunch promoter of his music. For instance, since 2006 on his initiative, in Moscow, Ekaterinburg and Vladimir, there has been carried out the Medtner Festival which is a kind of anthology of the composer's oeuvre which had always been overshadowed by the great names. With the NPR under Arsenty Tkachenko, Boris Berezovsky will play Medtner's Second Piano Concerto written in a light mood and dedicated to Sergei Rachmaninoff.
'Medtner's music is quite listenable, but he made everything to mask it by a complicated language and harmonic intricacies', says Boris Berezovsky. 'On the other side, many pianists simply do not have technical dexterity needed to reach the essence. While Medtner's essence is a most simple and pleasant music. At the same time, Medtner is a very dark composer... Medtner is the only one of his kind. He is madly sentimental! He is the only composer who makes me cry... I also like the way he uses folklore, not directly in its pure form, but re-writing it. Medtner has got thousands of absolutely Russian themes (although he was German!), which do not exist. He is a phenomenal stylist; he might be compared with Mussorgsky. His folklore is ancient, pre-Christian, something that was vanishing but the composer depicted all this beauty.'
The Manfred Symphony by Tchaikovsky will perform in the 2nd part. The composer wrote this symphony after Byron's dramatic poem of the same name at the suggestion of Mily Balakirev, the head of the “Mighty Five” group. Upon its completion, Tchaikovsky wrote in one of his letters: “Manfred is by no means a mere human. It seems to me that Byron shows with astonishing force and depth all the tragedy of the battle of our nothingness with attempts to conceive the crucial points of our existence.” The first movement of the Symphony is almost fully devoted to the eponymous hero (the composer thought of making it later into a symphonic poem). The other three movements mostly depict picturesque scenes tied together by the Manfred theme.