For the beginning of his music directorship of the Munich Philharmonic Valery Gergiev came up with a truly special event: A one day Prokofiev marathon with all five piano concertos. Joining Gergiev, arguably today’s leading conductor for works by Prokofiev, and his Munich orchestra was his Mariinsky Orchestra from St. Petersburg as well as five outstanding pianists, Herbert Schuch, Denis Matsuev, Behzod Abduraimov, Alexei Volodin and Olli Mustonen. Each of these virtuosos performs one of Prokofiev’s five piano concertos, and, “not least because the interpretations were so varied,” observed Munich’s Süddeutsche Zeitung, “the result was a highly revealing Prokofiev portrait.”
Maestro Gergiev has chosen to complement the Prokofiev concertos with a wide spectrum of works by Haydn, Mozart, Weber, Reger, Shchedrin and clarinettist-composer Jörg Widmann. “A miracle occurred in Mozart’s Clarinet concerto,” wrote the Süddeutsche Zeitung, “performed by Jörg Widmann with such insight into its essence and structure that he might have composed it himself. And the Munich Philharmonic, of whom Gergiev has been chief conductor for just two months, played as if enchanted by their good fortune.”
Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26
Four Tone Poems after Arnold Böcklin, Op. 128
As one of the most important new genres of Romantic music, symphonic poems were a real success in the 19th century. The Romantics, especially Hector Berlioz, composed symphonies and other orchestral pieces with literary models. This resulted in freedom in all elements of composition and enabled the creator to direct the listener's emotions and associations even more p...