Programme Guide

The New York Times wrote: “What makes Mr. Bronfman so successful in music of this sort is that he is the same kind of pianist as Prokofiev was a composer. In other words, he is a virtuoso, with chops that need fear no comparisons, yet his musicality purges that virtuosity of mere brilliance.” With this in mind, Bronfman here performs the Second Piano Concerto with the Philharmoniker: a work which Prokofiev started when he was still a student, but which already contains the full expressive scope of the composer.

Hector Berlioz is also – along with Prokofiev – proof positive that composers can be virtuosos too, not only performing artists. Using vast orchestral forces, he develops a wide range of scenarios in his Symphonie fantastique – from airy waltzes to garish grotesquerie. Just how right Yannick Nézet-Séguin is for this demanding score could be read in the review of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: “Yannick Nézet-Séguin is blessed with a compelling physical intelligence. Beneath the theatrical hysteria of this piece with its abrupt changes of character and gesture, the conductor produces a large-scale unity of movement, with a dramatic pulse and an emotional prevailing mood.”

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