Great Russian Repertoire
The Enchanted Lake Op. 62
Concerto for piano and orchestra No. 3 in C major Op. 26
Symphony No. 9 in E flat major Op. 70
This fine Russian program will open with Le Lac enchanté by Lyadov, a magical piece by a composer as gifted as he is lazy to whom we indirectly owe the existence of Stravinsky's The Firebird since it was to him that Diaghilev had commissioned this ballet which he did not complete in time. One hundred years ago, in 1923, Prokofiev came to play his Piano Concerto No. 3 which he had just finished at Victoria Hall, with the OSR conducted by its maestro. It has since become a great classic of the piano repertoire thanks to its generous themes, its frenzied rhythms and its exhilarating difficulty. As for Shostakovich's Ninth Symphony, it had turned Stalin purple with rage. Commissioned in 1945 from the composer to celebrate the end of the War in apotheosis with a work of gigantic proportions, it is a wet firecracker that Shostakovich wrote in the purest style of mockery and derision that he loved. Extremely short, carefree and light, it is full of easily recognizable quotations forming a real snub to the stupidity of war.