Procession des fêtes de Khorezm (The Khorezm festival procession) (Swiss Première)
Concerto for piano and orchestra N° 2 in C minor op. 18
Symphony N° 7 in C sharp minor op. 131
Born in Kokand, one of the oldest cities in Uzbekistan, the Soviet composer Suleiman Yudakov was a student of Reinhold Glière at the Moscow Conservatory, who also taught Prokofiev. He wrote the first Uzbek comic opera, ballets, patriotic cantatas and symphonic music. The Khorezm Festival Procession, with its strong oriental flavour, evokes the festive music of Central Asia in ancient times.
Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 2 'opens the floodgates of pomp and circumstance', wrote one uptight Geneva critic. And yet it is full of that special Russian romanticism, with its generous themes and electrifying virtuosity. The opening bars, played by the piano alone, evoke the low sound of the bells that will feature in almost all of the composer's works. The orchestra then enters, torrential, like a flow that sweeps the listener away with its bewitching harmonic and virtuoso power.
The last work completed by Serge Prokofiev, Symphony No. 7 is not a final testament, but rather a fresh and cheerful work with a melodious and easy lyricism. Written so that it could be played by youth orchestras, it is a true ode to youth of all countries and all times.