Alexandre Kantorow & Tchaikovsky 2 - Prokofiev

Fri 28.04.23 20:00
€ 48 - 40 - 26 - 12
Namur Concert Hall
Sat 29.04.23 19:00

Sofia Gubaidulina, Fairytale Poem

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Piano Concerto No. 2 in G major, Op. 44

Sergei Prokofiev, Symphony No. 6 in E-flat minor, Op. 111

The modernism of the Tatar-Russian composer Sofia Gubaidoelina was not appreciated in the Soviet Union. She was only allowed to compose music for documentaries, animation films and radio programmes. Her composition Fairy-Tale Poem began as music to accompany a radio broadcast of the Czech fairy tale The Little Piece of Chalk. In it, a piece of chalk dreams of being used by an artist, but sees itself withering away during a boring maths lesson. A boy steals the piece of chalk and starts drawing on the street with it. The piece of chalk is so happy about this that it does not notice that it is slowly getting smaller and smaller. Sofia Goebaidoelina considered this fairy tale to be a metaphor for the artist’s life and reworked it into an independent symphonic poem.

A few years after the enormous success of his Piano Concerto No. 1, Tchaikovsky composed his Piano Concerto No. 2. A few atypical elements mean that this work is rarely heard in the concert hall: the length of the first and second movements, and also the fact that two additional soloists are needed for the andante: a violin and a cello. They engage in dialogue, while the piano comes in late and plays a more accompanying role. However, in the first and final movements the piano shines with particularly virtuoso play. A dazzling, highly romantic concerto that Tchaikovsky wrote not on commission but from his ‘inner need’!

Prokofiev wrote his Symphony No. 6 just after the ‘Great Patriotic War’. In contrast to his previous symphony, No. 5, this work is not heroic but tragic in nature. “We celebrate our victory, but each of us has suffered great wounds that cannot simply be healed,” Prokofiev stated. Symphony No. 6 has three movements and is most reminiscent of Honegger’s symphonies. The first performances were Prokofiev’s last great success: after that, the symphony was condemned and banned by the Soviet regime under the Zhdanov doctrine. The music Prokofiev composed was too philosophical, not positive enough and too formalistic.

Dima Slobodeniouk, conductor
Alexandre Kantorow, piano