Khachatryan plays Bruch
Sofia Gubaidulina, Das Gastmahl während der Pest
Max Bruch, Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26
Sergei Prokofiev, Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64 (selection)
VIOLIN CONCERTO AND A LOVE STORY
The Tatar-born Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina, now 92, grew up under Stalin, received an encouraging speech from Shostakovich at her composition final exam in Moscow and has been living as a kind of hermit near Hamburg since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The title of her orchestral composition Das Gastmahl während der Pest (2006) refers to Pushkin’s drama of the same name. In this play, which takes place during the London plague epidemic of 1665, a merry company celebrates life with a magnificent banquet. In doing so, they bring cheerfulness among the passing hearses and sanctimonious priests.
Audience favourite Sergey Khachatryan, winner of the 2005 Queen Elisabeth Competition, returns to Belgium for a performance of Max Bruch's famous First Violin Concerto. He wrote this work at a fairly young age. However, the composition was a tough delivery. Bruch was extremely dissatisfied with the first performance, withdrew the score and sent it to Joseph Joachim, the most famous violinist of his time. Based on Joseph Joachim's suggestions, Bruch radically modified the concerto. In 1868, the final version of the First Violin Concerto was premiered, this time with Joseph Joachim as soloist. Although Bruch later composed a Second and a Third violin concerto, the First Violin Concerto remains his most performed work to this day. Joseph Joachim later called Bruch's concerto "the most rich and seductive work" he knew.
When Sergei Prokofiev began writing his Romeo and Juliet in 1934, he could not have known how difficult it would be to stage the ballet. As the Soviet authorities were difficult and theatres repeatedly failed him, Prokofiev decided after several years to compile the musical highlights of the more than two-hour score into three symphonic suites. This allowed him to broadcast his music while waiting for a stage performance. The Belgian National Orchestra, led by associate conductor Michael Schønwandt, plays parts of all three symphonic suites.
Michael Schønwandt, conductor
Sergey Khachatryan, violin
© Photo by Marco Borggreve
Michael Schønwandt, born in Copenhagen, is Principal Conductor of the Opéra Orchestre National de Montpellier.
Born in Yerevan, Armenia, Sergey Khachatryan won First Prize at the VIII International Jean Sibelius Competition in Helsinki in 2000, becoming the youngest ever winner in the history of the competi