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Valery Gergiev and Denis Matsuev perform Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3

22/12/2010

Berliner Philharmoniker
Valery Gergiev

Denis Matsuev

  • Rodion Shchedrin
    Symphonic Diptych German Première (00:10:02)

  • Sergei Rachmaninov
    Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor (00:47:43)

    Denis Matsuev Piano

  • Modest Mussorgsky
    Pictures at an Exhibition (orch. Ravel) (00:36:49)

  • free

    Valery Gergiev in conversation with Wilfried Strehle (00:17:17)

Russian music and Russian musicians have been one of the main themes of the Berliner Philharmoniker this autumn. The focus of attention in the current concert in the Philharmonie is Valery Gergiev, on of the most well-known conductors from his home country. Gergiev came to fame especially due to his work with the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg which goes back to 1978. But Berliner Philharmoniker audiences have also known him since 1993.

Denis Matsuev who comes from Irkutsk, on the other hand, will be making his debut with the orchestra in this concert. He first made a name for himself in the music world when he won the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1998. That he is not only passionate about classical music is demonstrated by the fact that he was the first musician ever to give a jazz concert at the Moscow conservatory. Just a few months ago he made his debut with the New York Philharmonic, again with Valery Gergiev as conductor. The New York Times commented: "Denis Matsuev, the fast-rising young Russian pianist, ... wielding his athletic virtuosity and steely power, gave a chiselled, hard-driving yet transparent performance .... The ovation was enormous."

All three works in this evening's concert represent a fascinating meeting of Russian and Western music. In his Symphonic Diptych, Rodion Shchedrin condensed an opera which he had written for the New York Philharmonic and Lorin Maazel in 2002, and Rachmaninov's Third Piano Concerto was written for the composer's American debut in November 1909. The final work of the concert is Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition in the orchestral version by Maurice Ravel. The elemental, even raw power of the original piano version is certainly lessened, but Ravel more than makes up for this through his use of colour and shading, which creates a multi-dimensional cosmos from the perhaps almost too unswerving persistence of the piano version.

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