Venue Details: Lighthouse
- Khachaturian : Gayaneh Suite
- Rachmaninov : Piano Concerto No.2
- Walton : Symphony No.1
- Conductor : Kirill Karabits
- Soloist: Nikolai Lugansky (Piano)
Gayaneh, set in a Soviet Armenian cotton co-operative, allowed Khatchaturian to explore his trans-Caucasian roots and to embrace those piquant melodic and harmonic traits that were to become a quintessential part of his creative make-up. Magnificently exuberant, exotic colours slip from rich to garish, and towering climaxes tumble into the brutal and bombastic.
With his Second Piano Concerto, Rachmaninov not only overcame his writer's block, but he found a new voice as a composer - one with a perfect knack for unforgettable tunes, dazzling pianistic effects, an effortless flow of ideas, and a very suave sense of style. Despite his worries, the peremier was a major triumph and it quickly became Rachmaninov's greatest hit and one of the most popular concertos of the twentieth century.
In musical terms, Walton's First Symphony is a landmark of English composition and represents the peak of his symphonic thinking. Its turbulent emotions and high-voltage energy were the fruit of tempestuous events surrounding Walton at the time. It consists of an eloquent, dramatic first movement, a stinging, malicious Scherzo and a throuoghly melancholic slow movement. The finale though is totally different in outlook, an almost Elgarian ceremonial jubilation, as if a cloud has lifted.
“...pianism of immense technical fluency and innate musical quality” (Gramophone)