Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Russians are Coming

The controversial and exciting Russian conductor Valery Gergiev is bringing the Mariinsky Orchestra to Davies Symphony Hall on Sunday and Monday, March 21 and 22. Sunday's program will be excerpts from Prokoviev's Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella and Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony. Monday's program will be the Berlioz Royal Hunt and Storm from Les Troyens, Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 (a program change from Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini), with the mercurial Russian pianist Denis Matsuev and Shostakovich's 15th Symphony. For me, the Shostakovich is the gem of his visit. Rarely performed in concert, it's Shostakovich's final symphony, a quirky combination of excerpts from other composers - Rossini, Wagner, Mahler and others and the dark vision of life that saturated the great composer's final years. I can't wait to hear it!

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