The First Concert of The Russian Classics series

October 21, 2023 | Svetlanov Hall of the MIPAC
Subscription series «Russian Classic»
Soloist – Arseny Tarasevich-Nikolaev, piano
Conductor – Arsenty Tkachenko
Lyadov. 8 Russian Folksongs for orchestra, Op. 58
Tchaikovsky. Concert Fantasia for piano and orchestra, Op. 56
Tchaikovsky. Symphony No. 3 in D major, Op. 29


Opening the NPR's subscription series devoted to masterworks by Russian classics, conductor Arsenty Tkachenko has compiled the programme from music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Anatoly Lyadov. It opens with 'The Eight Russian Folksongs for orchestra' – an astonishing mini-encyclopedia of Russian folklore written by Lyadov in 1906. It is a pioneer suite whose movements are based on authentic folk melodies of various sorts, such as epic, lyrical, ritual and others. Lyadov took the tunes from folk songs collections edited by famous folklorists and then reworked them. The Suite movements are – Religious Chant, Christmas Carol 'Kolyada', Plaintive Song, Humorous Song 'I Danced With The Gnat', Legend Of Birds, Cradle Song, Round Dance and Village Dance Song 'In Meadows'.

It will be followed by a virtuoso piece for piano and orchestra, which is close to the three piano concertos by Tchaikovsky and titled by the author 'The Concert Fantasia' (1884). This rare opus in two movements Quasi Rondo and 'Contrasts' epitomizes the composer's searches for innovative ideas in the line of form and orchestration.

Arseny Tarasevich-Nikolaev, a bearer of the family name and grandson of the great pianist, composer and teacher Tatyana Nikolaeva, will play the piano part. After graduating from the Moscow Conservatory he continued his studies in Italy, won the A. N. Scriabin Competition when only 19, then got awards at contests in Cleveland, Sydney and Bergen (Norway) and won the Silver Medal at the first edition of the Rachmaninoff Competition for pianists, composers and conductors.

The concert will end with Tchaikovsky's only symphony in a major key, namely The Third where there prevail light-hearted cheery images, at times quite spectacular. For the composer it was mostly an experiment: he added another Scherzo to the classical symphonic cycle. The author was quite skeptical about his work, however the very severe critic Herman Laroche sang praises to it: 'For the strength of its content, the richness of the form, the noble style expressed by genuine, highly inimitable creativity and the perfection of technical abilities the symphony by Mr. Tchaikovsky is one of the magisterial events in the music of recent years...'


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