orchestras from around the world perform grand symphonies by Tchaikovsky, Mahler, and others, as well as transcendently beautiful selections
from Wagner’s final opera, the New York premiere of a piano concerto by Daniil Trifonov, and
Daniil Trifonov made his Carnegie Hall debut in a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra. He reunites with them for another composer’s first concerto—his own. Trifonov’s Piano Concerto has pianistic flash, but also introspection and great tenderness. Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 6 looks inward too—especially in the anguished central Largo—but also excites with powerful outer movements. Strauss’s Don Juan is pure excitement: Sumptuously scored, brilliantly melodic, it’s the tone poem that propelled him to the front rank of composers.
Mariinsky Orchestra Valery Gergiev, Music Director and Conductor Daniil Trifonov, Piano
R. STRAUSS Don Juan
DANIIL TRIFONOV Piano Concerto (NY Premiere)
PROKOFIEV Symphony No. 6
PROKOFIEV Allegro precipitato from Sarcasms, Op. 17
STRAVINSKY Berceuse and Finale from The Firebird Suite (1919 version)
Parsifal, Wagner’s final opera, is a majestic work that reaches heavenly heights in its spiritually transcendent third act. Wagner was Bruckner’s idol, and the sweeping breadth and tonal language of the older composer inspired much of his music. At the time of his death, Bruckner had only completed three movements of his Ninth Symphony, but what he left is compelling and deeply touching. His symphony ascends from a musical primordial haze to a finale that explores new harmonies and peace in its quiet closing benediction.
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Daniele Gatti, Chief Conductor
WAGNER Prelude to Act III and Good Friday Spell from Parsifal
A mere 20 years separate the composition of these two symphonies, yet their musical journeys take us in completely opposite directions. After a Beethoven-like struggle with Fate, Tchaikovsky’s symphony banishes all doubts with a thrilling, no-holds-barred coda that sets the heart racing. Ives startles us with glimpses of American folk and band music, concluding with what can only be likened to a short, tart Bronx cheer.
Mahler’s five-movement Symphony No. 7 has its share of shadows, especially in its two mysterious “night music” movements, but all is not gloom. The massively scored symphony—it includes cowbells, mandolin, and guitar—culminates in a wildly exuberant finale where snippets of operetta, a reference to the opening of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger, and a Turkish march joyously swirl together.
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra Mariss Jansons, Chief Conductor