Mariinsky Orchestra – Valery Gergiev conductor
The Tale of Tsar Saltan (suite) Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov
Symphony in C Igor Stravinsky
Symphony no. 6, op. 74, "Pathétique" Pyotr Tchaikovsky
The Russian conductor Valery Gergiev takes us on a musical journey to his country, exploring various aesthetics. With the Mariinsky Orchestra he has one of the world’s best orchestras at his beck and call. It is an orchestra that also bore witness to many Russian cultural developments, as it was founded in 1783. As a member of the “Group of Five”, Rimsky-Korsakov argued in favour of a national Russian music, based on the popular repertoire and eschewing Western influences, as is evidenced by The Tale of Tsar Saltan, an opera based on Pushkin’s eponymous work, which is presented here. Tchaikovsky, on the other hand, sought to incorporate elements of Central and Western European music in his compositions. His Sixth and final Symphony is the culmination of all his efforts, and perhaps also his most authentic work. As a bonus, Stravinsky’s Symphony in C, which seems to reject the alternative: “I consider that music is by its very nature essentially powerless to express anything at all… Expression has never been an inherent property of music.” This looks to be a respectful, but also surprising concert.