The programme includes:
Extract from the dance production River. White. ru
Arrangement – Sergei Mesheryakov
Choreography – Sergei Smirnov
Ragtime potpourri The Golden Age of the Xylophone
Arrangement – Floyd Werle
Brass Quintet No 3 in D Flat Major, Op. 7
Mimì’s tale from the opera La bohème
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Papageno’s first aria from the opera Die Zauberflöte
The Warrior’s arioso from the cantata Moscow
The Singer’s off-stage song from the opera Raphael
Iolanta’s arioso from the opera Iolanta
The scene of Rodrigo’s death from the opera Don Carlo
Habanera from the opera Carmen
Alfredo’s aria from the opera La traviata
Juliette’s waltz from the opera Roméo et Juliette
Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor
Soloist: Denis Matsuev (piano)
Concert presented by: Alexander Vovnenko and Tatiana Borisova
North is freedom and hope. A limitless tract.
Pure snow resembles a life with no lies.
In the latter half of the last century, the theme of conquering Siberia inspired many artists – Andrei Konchalovsky, Vladimir Vysotsky and Yeremei Aipin. Each of them saw something different here: romance, achievement, recklessness, dedication to one’s work and love of the Motherland.
River. White Light. Ru is a choreographic fantasy by the famed Urals ballet master in which he attempts to answer different but very important questions:
WHO were those young people who conquered Yugra, a bleak Siberian region, in the 60s and 70s?
WHAT inspired them?
HOW did they achieve what they did without losing their own selves?
WHERE is the true home of love and romance?
And one more...
WHY do birds fly northwards if birds are only supposed to live in the south?
Victor Vladimirovich Ewald (1860 – 1935) was a renowned scientist who specialised in construction materials, designed buildings and taught at the Institute of Civil Engineers and the Institute of Means of Communication. In parallel, he led a “second life”: he graduated from the St Petersburg Conservatoire, became a cellist with the “Belyaev Quartet” performing with the philanthropist and publisher Mitrofan Petrovich Belyaev and he also collected Russian folk songs.
Ewald occupies a place of honour in the history of music as one of the founding fathers of the quintet genre for brass instruments. He composed four quintets, starting in 1888, but at the time they were considered too complex and only came to be properly assessed in the 1970s.
Quintet No 3 in D Flat Major, Op. 7 was actually the last to be written, in around 1912 (Ewald’s music activities seem to have ceased with the onset of the Revolution). It is utterly restrained in the manner of “Belyaev’s circle” with its cult of professionalism, perfection of composition technique, strict form and national character. In the music one can hear echoes of Rimsky-Korsakov and Musorgsky. It is surprising just how much lyricism and cantilena there is in it – it is not by chance that two of Ewald’s four quintets also exist in versions for string quartet.
Ewald intended his quintets to be for two cornets, two saxhorns and a tuba, the latter instrument being performed by the composer himself. In contemporary publications the instruments have been replaced with the now more typical two trumpets, French horn and trombone with only the tuba surviving unaltered.
In the 1850s German audiences knew the young pianist Johannes Brahms whose repertoire included piano concerti by Mozart and Beethoven. In the early 1880s all major towns in Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire had the opportunity to hear the composer perform his First Piano Concerto in D Minor, Op. 15.
But the work was not an immediate success: the premiere in Hanover on 22 January 1859 and the concert soon afterwards in Leipzig brought Brahms little pleasure. It is known that the “extremely piercing dissonances” and “unpleasant sounds”, as Edward Bernsdorf of Signale für die musikalische Welt wrote, were dismissed by the critics. In Leipzig it was performed to no applause whatsoever. The company Breitkopf und Härtel even refused to work with the young and apparently unpromising composer.
But the fact is that the first audiences had expected typical concert music – virtuoso and undemanding in nature. Instead of this they were presented with a work of symphonic scale which has “exchanges” with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. In the first section of the concerto there are stormy and inhuman passions, but the stunned music lovers were unable even to enjoy the Adagio – a brilliant example of Brahms’ lyricism (the composer himself said that the second section of the concerto was a portrait of his muse, Clara Schumann).