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, Lucerne Festival Orchestra conducted by the legendary Italian composer Claudio Abbado (26 June 1933 – 20 January 2014)

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:

  1. Moderato (C minor)
  2. Adagio sostenuto – Più animato – Tempo I (C minor – E major)
  3. 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.


M. Özgür Nevres

Published by M. Özgür Nevres

I am Özgür Nevres, a software engineer, an ex-road racing cyclist, and also an amateur musician. I opened to share my favorite music. I also take care of stray cats & dogs. Please consider supporting me on Patreon.

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