Masterpieces of Russian Music

17 March, 2023 | Svetlanov Hall of the MIPAC
Subscription Series “Maestro Vladimir Spivakov and the NPR”
Soloist – Alexander Ghindin, piano
Evgenia Krivitskaya, organ
Conductor – Arsenty Tkachenko
Rachmaninoff. Concerto No. 1 for piano and orchestra in F-sharp minor (1st edition), Op. 1
Tchaikovsky. “Manfred” Symphony, Op. 58


The National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia proceeds with its subscription series at the Moscow Performing Arts Center presenting a program of well-famed gems of Russian classics. Under the baton of Arsenty Tkachenko there will be played the First Piano Concerto by Sergei Rachmaninoff and the Manfred Symphony by Pyotr Tchaikovsky.
The First Piano Concerto which follows the line of lyrical and dramatic concertos by Russian and European composers (Tchaikovsky, Schumann, Grieg and others) was written by young Rachmaninoff, still a Conservatory student, and became the first score the author decided to present to the audience designed as “Opus 1”. At the premiere the solo part was played by the composer himself while the orchestra was directed by Vasily Safonov. In 1917 Rachmaninoff re-worked the score, and it is the second edition that has been performed in concerts since that time. However a few pianists, Alexander Ghindin included, prefer the first edition of the Concerto for its youthful freshness and heartfelt phrasing.
The “Manfred” Symphony after Byron's dramatic poem of the same name was composed by Tchaikovsky 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.

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