15 Oct Rosey Concert Hall: The Mariinsky Orchestra
Under its Artistic and General Director, Valery Gergiev, the Mariinsky Orchestra is ranked as one of the world’s finest. On October 11th, Roséens and an enthusiastic public had the opportunity to see for themselves the dramatic fusion of conductor and orchestra in a varied programme of Russian music. Dipytique Symphonique by contemporary composer Rodion Shchedrin was followed by Tchaikovsky’s relatively little-known Piano Concerto No. 2. The long first movement with its two cadenzas put brilliant young French pianist Alexandre Kantorow centre stage. In the lyrical second movement, he shared the spotlight with the orchestra’s violin and cello soloists, while the third movement was a typically exciting Tchaikovsky finale with the orchestra and pianist equally impressive. After the interval, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition saw Gergiev drawing some remarkable playing from his virtuoso orchestra and doing full justice to Ravel’s extraordinary orchestration. An encore was inevitable and the “Berceuse” and “Finale” from Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite may have been the real highlight of a truly memorable concert.