Lucerne Festival: St. Petersburg Philharmonic Plays All-Russian Program

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The St. Petersburg Philharmonic. The St. Petersburg Philharmonic. (Opus 3 Artists)

Tune in at 9 pm on Tuesday to hear the last of our broadcasts recorded live at the 2015 Lucerne Festival in Switzerland.

Founded in 1882 by the Czar Alexander the third, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic is the oldest orchestra in Russia. In its earlier decades, conductors such as Richard Strauss, Alexander Glazunov, and Serge Koussevitzky lead the orchestra. For the past 27 years, Yuri Termikanov has been its music director and brings them to Switzerland for this all-Russian program and our final broadcast from the 2015 Lucerne Festival.

The tone poem "Francesca da Rimini" begins the program with a musical portrayal of the ill-fated character from Dante’s "Divine Comedy." Then Moscow-born pianist Nikolai Lugansky joins the orchestra for one of Rachmaninoff’s most challenging piano works, the Concerto No. 2.

The second half of the program features Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9. Shostakovich has a long history with this orchestra; he premiered eight of the composer's 15 symphonies. This Ninth Symphony was written at the end of World War II when the Soviet victory was in sight. While the authorities were expecting Shostakovich to write a big victory tribute along the lines of Beethoven’s Ninth, Shostakovich wrote a lighter, less "heroic" symphony.

Program playlist:

Tchaikovsky: Francesca da Rimini, Op. 32. Symphonic Fantasy after Dante
Rachmaninoff: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 9 in E-flat major, Op. 70

St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
Yuri Temirkanov, conductor
Nikolai Lugansky, piano

Also on this program we’ll meet master craftsman and alphorn maker Tobias Bärtschi, who invited us into his shop to see his handiwork.

Alphorn maker Tobias Bärtschi at his workshop in Switzerland.
Alphorn maker Tobias Bärtschi at his workshop in Switzerland.
A detail of Tobias Bärtschi's work.
Looking into Bärtschi's workshop.

Comments [1]

Jochn Gentz from Germany, Wachtberg

I love joining you every day! A wonderful selection of a broad musical spectrum. And it's great to be able to listen to different very interesting and high quality concerts which I never could enjoy without WQXR New York. Thank you so much!
Jochen Gentz

Nov. 24 2015 06:25 AM

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