All Rachmaninoff Concertos and Symphonies – the Fourth Night

April 26, 2023 | Svetlanov Hall of the MIPAC 
Subscription series "All Rachmaninoff Concertos and Symphonies"
Soloist – Denis Matsuev, piano
Conductor – Vladimir Spivakov
Rachmaninoff. Concerto No. 2 for piano and orchestra in C minor, Op. 18
Rachmaninoff. Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27

Vladimir Spivakov and the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia are completing the Sergei Rachmaninoff's 150th Anniversary subscription series which encompasses all concertos and symphonies by the composer, The conclusive concert will feature the composer's most famed masterworks in each genre – the Second Piano Concerto and the Second Symphony. The piano part in the Concerto dedicated to hypnotherapist Nikolai Dahl (who helped Rachmaninoff to return to composing after a heavy nervous break caused by the terrible flop of his First Symphony) will be played by the eminent pianist Denis Matsuev.

Both for Vladimir Spivakov and Denis Matsuev, Sergei Rachmaninoff is a very special author whose works make a large part of their repertoire. In 2007, on the initiative of the composer's grandson Alexander, Matsuev recorded an Unknown Rchmaninoff compact-disc with shortly before found and never published early pieces and many others. In the same year the pianist became a privileged partner of the Sergei Rchmaninoff Foundation and its president Alexander Rachmaninoff, and further its art-director. He was given the honor to play Rachmaninoff's own piano when the instrument was carried to Russia, and it was Denis Matsuev whom composer Alexander Warenberg chose to play “Rachmaninoff: Concerto № 5” based on Rachmaninoff's Symphony no.2 at the world and Russian premieres (they were both conducted by Vladimir Spivakov, while in Moscow the NPR took part in the concert).

Ending the concert on April 26, Vladimir Spivakov will offer his interpretation of the Second Symphony, one of the best in Rachmaninoff's corpus and in the symphonic literature of all times. The composer created a purely national masterpiece, densely imbued with Russian song lyricism, and gave life to a new side of the genre, i.e. a symphony-meditation (here about Russia's present and future) not devoid of drama. “The large-scale picturesqueness was implemented by the composer through the internal richness of Russian lyrical-epic tunefulness with its simplicity and intricacy, concentration and immenseness, bashful restraint and impressive profoundness” as Vera Briantseva describes it in her monograph about the composer. Rachmaninoff dedicated the Second Symphony to Sergei Taneyev, his much esteemed Conservatory teacher.


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