Munich’s Odeonsplatz Concert is one of the open-air highlights of the year. The magnificent Residenz Palace on one side and the serene, towering Theatinerkirche on the other provide the ideal backdrop for exceptional performances of classical music. In this setting, Chinese star pianist Yuja Wang, Valery Gergiev and the Münchner Philharmoniker present an atmospheric concert programme consisting of two works which are at the same time popular and demanding. Yuja Wang, who is at home at the world’s most prestigious concert halls, “seems to have everything: speed, flexibility, pianistic thunder and interpretive nuance” (The New York Times). The power of her interpretations emerges from a distinct combination of her exceptional presence on stage and technically scintillating performances on the piano. “Yuja Wang brings the two qualities that not just impress on the Odeonsplatz: an exorbitant virtuoso and a touch of dreamlike beauty“(Süddeutsche Zeitung).
Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1, a real challenge in terms of technical complexity, has been accompanying Yuja Wang for several years. With its high intensity and deep-rooted romance, it is one of her absolutely favourite concerts. She performs it “with vertiginous virtuosity, somnambulistic sovereignty, a fine sense of dramaturgy and rhythmic perfection” (Münchner Merkur). As second part of the open air concert, Gergiev and the Münchner Philharmoniker perform Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. This work’s variety of colourful impressions finds its perfect reflection in the musical interpretation, allowing Gergiev and his orchestra to display three of their well-known strengths: spontaneity, experience and a multi-faceted sound. Conducting with “a secure sense for creating,effects without gimmickry” (Süddeutsche Zeitung), Gergiev is able to carry through the slow tempi of internal tension as well. The “glittering music festival” (Münchner Merkur) is rounded off by popular encores from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker and Glinka’s Ruslan and Lyudmila and the breakneck “Precipitato” of Prokofiev’s Piano Sonata No. 7. A particularly artistic paraphrase on Mozart’s Alla Turca grants for standing ovations.