Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest – Andris Nelsons conductor – Yefim Bronfman piano
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra no. 2, op. 16 Sergey Prokofiev
Symphony no. 11, op. 103 "The Year 1905"
The Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest is putting on a concert entirely devoted to Russian music. Shostakovich wrote the Eleventh Symphony for the fortieth anniversary of the October Revolution, in memory of the “Red Sunday” of 1905, during which the imperial army violently repressed a popular demonstration. The work is intended as a firm indictment of oppression in all its forms. Another powerful work performed this evening is Prokofiev’s Second Concerto for piano. It was marked by the suicide of one of the composer’s friends and immerses the listener in the pain he experienced. The concerto includes some very demanding writing, which flirts with the physical limits of the possible. Yefim Bronfman is the ideal pianist to really do justice to the beauty of these pages, capable as he is of combining powerful emotion and extreme technical difficulty.