Accompanied by the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, French classical pianist Hélène Grimaud plays works from the Russian composers Sergei Rachmaninoff, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and Igor Stravinsky: “A Russian Night”. Conductor: Claudio Abbado. Recorded live at the Lucerne Festival in Summer, on 22 August 2008.
A Russian Night: Hélène Grimaud plays Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, and Stravinsky
1. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: The Tempest, Symphonic Fantasia after Shakespeare, Op. 18
2. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18
The piece is written in three-movement concerto form:
- Moderato (C minor)
- Adagio sostenuto – Più animato – Tempo I (C minor – E major)
- Allegro scherzando (E major – C minor – C major)
3. Igor Stravinsky: L’oiseau de feu (The Firebird)
The idea of mixing the mythical Firebird with the unrelated Russian tale of Koschei the Deathless (the most common feature of tales involving Koschei is a spell which prevents him from being killed) possibly came from a popular child’s verse by the Russian poet Yakov Polonsky (18 December [O.S. 6 December] 1819 – 30 October [O.S. 18 October] 1898), “A Winter’s Journey” (Zimniy put, 1844), which includes the lines:
And in my dreams, I see myself on a wolf’s back
Riding along a forest path
To do battle with a sorcerer-tsar (Koschei)
In that land where a princess sits under lock and key,
Pining behind massive walls.
There, gardens surround a palace all of glass;
There Firebirds sing by night
And peck at golden fruit.
- The Tempest (Tchaikovsky) on Wikipedia
- Piano Concerto No. 2 (Rachmaninoff) on Wikipedia
- The Firebird on Wikipedia