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Unforgettable evenings with Valery Gergiev and The Kirov Symphony Orchestra

Grand Palace Hall
09/06/2005 -  
Mussorgsky : Introduction to “Khovantchina"
Enescu : Suite no. 1 in C major op. 9
Tchaikovsky : Symphony no. 5 in E minor op. 64

Kirov Symphony Orchestra, Valery Gergiev (conductor)

Grand Palace Hall
Rimsky-Korsakov : Capriccio Espagnol op. 34
Prokofiev : Concerto for violin and orchestra no. 2 in G minor op. 63
Tchaikovsky : Symphony no. 6 in B minor op. 74 “Pathétique”

Alexandru Tomescu (violin)
Kirov Symphony Orchestra, Valery Gergiev (conductor)

The famous conductor Valery Gergiev confirmed his preferences for the Russian repertory, from which he selected on a priority basis for the Bucharest concerts. Among his selections, as a tribute to Enescu, the Suite no. 1 in C major op. 9, along with music by Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Prokofiev (the G minor Concerto for violin, soloist Alexandru Tomescu).
Tchaikovsky mixed with Gergiev means excellence. The approach to the composer’s last two symphonies was founded on large tempi, with generously dimensioned exposure and eloquent rhetoric. A tranquility of descriptions could be identified in the maestro’s concept. Make no mistake though - under that sea of peaceful waters a huge fire is burning. One can feel composer's high voltage and the melodic line is redeemed in-depth, the balanced presentation reminding me of the reading of similar ideatic extraction by Carlo Maria Giulini in a memorable exposition of Brahms’ Fourth Symphony (with the orchestra of the Rome's Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia) at the end of the ‘70s, in the Romanian Athenaeum Hall.
Gergiev confers generous breathing to Tchaikovsky's romantic pages (Finale –
Adagio lamentuoso from the “Pathétique"), with the orchestra's solid violin playing and the homogeneity of the cello section. The sound acquires somber, mournful tinges in the beginning Andante or painful , introverted in the Andante cantabile - Moderato con anima from the Fifth. The huge outbursts, the typical outbreaks are masterful and overpowering. A wonderful brass section splits the acoustic space in Adagio – Allegro non troppo from the “Pathétique" . The sparke, impatience, trepidation, vehemence in the third movement Allegro molto vivace from the same symphony are breathtaking. Witness to and proof of the professionalism of the Russian ensembles, the Kirov Symphony showed itself as a solid, dynamic orchestra to which Gergiev’s conducting, economic but subtle and sincere – brought a desired softness and maleability of tones.

Costin Popa



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