A song without words that is most expressive. A virtuoso piano concerto whose composer was alone in thinking that it felt ‘more comfortable' than its immediate predecessor. A symphony that finally erases a devastating failure. Rachmaninoff's works are fascinating for the history of their creation. Although the critics of the time found them sentimental and nostalgic, we love to listen to them because they are beautiful!
The orchestral version of Vocalise originally written for voice and piano, and a gem of the vocal repertoire, will open the concert, followed by the Piano Concerto No. 2, performed by Anna Vinnitskaya, described by the Washington Post as "a true lioness" and by Gramophone as "an unforgettable and sparkling interplay of light and shadow". After the interval, the monumental musical triumph, Symphony No. 2, is played. The vocal part of Vocalise must be performed on a preferred vowel. The sustained ...notes and supple melodies create an almost violin-like sound. It's no wonder that many instrumental versions of the popular song have been written, with the orchestral version being created by the composer himself. This orchestration perhaps enhances the sensuality and hypnotic beauty of the piece. Rachmaninoff, who toured as both a pianist and a conductor, increasingly wanted to focus solely on composing. However, in 1909, he found himself unable to refuse an American invitation in 1909, for which he also composed a brand new piano concerto. Shortly after the world premiere, he performed the work known among pianists simply as ‘Rach 3' accompanied by the New York Philharmonic playing under the baton of Gustav Mahler. The failure of his first symphony sent Rachmaninoff into a deep depression. Ten years passed before he returned to the genre, but he was dissatisfied with his initial sketches. He forced himself to revise the work, and in 1908, as conductor, he led the first performance in St. Petersburg to success. He was awarded the Glinka Prize for this as well as for his Second Piano Concerto, which had shown him the way out of his depression. He had completely overcome his trauma.
Presented by: Budapest Festival Orchestra
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Refreshments – Without the Queue
Thanks to our new catering service at the Átrium Snack Bar, you can forget about waiting in line during intermissions for some refreshments and get your order prepped especially for you by the time the intermission actually starts. Find out more about pre-ordering here.
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