Mariinsky Orchestra

Nov 8

8:00 PM

Shostakovich, Prokofiev, R. Strauss

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

"Put Russian conductor Valery Gergiev on a podium and the usual result is musical fireworks. Pair him with his hometown orchestra, St. Petersburg's venerable Mariinsky Orchestra, and the chemistry becomes combustible, especially when the sensational Moscow-born pianist Denis Matsuev is a guest" (Chicago Classical Review). All three return to Symphony Center to take on Prokofiev's formidable Second Piano Concerto, plus a performance of Shostakovich's wry Ninth Symphony.

Approximate concert duration: 130 minutes including intermission


Shostakovich Symphony No. 9
Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2
R. Strauss Ein Heldenleben

Rachmaninov Etude-Tableaux, Op. 39, No. 2 [ENCORE before intermission]

Wagner Prelude to Act I of Lohengrin [ENCORE]
Wagner Prelude to Act 3 of Lohengrin [ENCORE]

For years, pianist Denis Matsuev avoided Prokofiev's fiendishly difficult Second Piano Concerto. But Valery Gergiev persuaded him otherwise: “You should play this concerto. It seems like it was written especially for you." After taking the plunge, Matsuev now declares, “It is Prokofiev’s [Mount] Everest. In dramatic effect and intensity of emotions, it takes first place among all piano concertos. The first movement is really powerful — it’s like a volcano!” Read more at CSO Sounds & Stories

Richard Strauss' tone poem Ein Heldenleben, which the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev will perform Nov. 8 at Symphony Center, has long ties to Chicago. Theodore Thomas, the founder and first music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, led the work's U.S. premiere on March 9, 1900. Since that performance, Ein Heldenleben (A Hero's Life) has become one of the CSO's signature works, and the orchestra has recorded it with several maestros, most notably, Fritz Reiner in 1954 on RCA, and most recently, Bernard Haitink on CSO Resound in 2010. Read more at CSO Sounds & Stories


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