Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony

Tuesday 2 March 7:30pm at Symphony Hall

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Jaap van Zweden conductor
Simon Trpčeski piano

Mussorgsky Prelude to Khovanshchina 6’
Prokofiev Piano Concerto No 3 27’
Rachmaninov Symphony No 2 60’

One of Holland’s foremost orchestras, with their Principal Conductor Jaap van Zweden, brings a richly romantic programme to Symphony Hall. There’s the heartfelt lyricism and inexhaustible melody of Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony and Mussorgsky’s exquisite Khovanshchina Prelude, evoking dawn over Moscow. And, expect sparks to fly in Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto in the hands of Simon Trpčeski – one of today’s hottest young pianists.

Due to the current economic climate we regret that the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, originally due to perform at this concert, has been forced to postpone its European tour. However, we are delighted to secure the outstanding Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, with conductor Jaap van Zweden and pianist Simon Trpčeski as originally advertised, in a programme that is virtually unchanged.

“Jaap van Zweden is the principal conductor of no less than four important orchestras around the world, but tonight he returns to his Dutch roots with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic. At the core of this impressive programme is the young Macedonian sensation Simon Trpčeski who will tackle one of the trickiest piano concertos in the book, Prokofiev’s ferocious Third.” Oliver Condy, BBC Music Magazine. www.thsh.co.uk

Encore – Prokofiev March

Review by Geoff Brown, Times:


“Van Zweden paid due respect to Rachmaninov’s instrumental colouring. The tuba loomed up like a sea monster. Woodwinds were nicely bumptious. This wasn’t perhaps the subtlest interpretation; but I’d happily bottle its energy.  …

And another energy surge came with Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No 3, a work that requires the pianists’ hands to leap and yell. No problem for Simon Trpceski, the Macedonian wonder, whose finger power and feeling for rhythm is second to none. And Van Zweden’s troops weren’t left panting, even in the hurtling finale. Smiles all round.”

Review by Ivan Hewett, Telegraph:


…”He was well-matched in Simon Trpceski, who has a marvellous way of seizing the rhythms so that they seem almost early – but not quite. Together they brought an amazing edge-of-the seat excitement to Prokofiev’s concerto, but the best moment came in a tranced passage in the first movement, when clarinet, bassoon and Trpceski’s left-hand musings were intermingled. Suddenly, amid all the tumult, we had the intimacy of chamber music.” …

Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:


… “The highlight of the evening was Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto no. 3, Simon Trpceski the soloist. The quirky fairy-tale interludes were set into an appropriate context, and Trpceski’s virtuosity never stole the thunder of this enchanting music.

Trpceski’s encore, a miniature Prokofiev March, was just perfect.”

Review by Hilary Finch, The Observer:


… “This week van Zweden, the young Macedonian pianist Simon Trpceski and the Netherlands RPO have been on tour in the UK. If Birmingham’s all-Russian programme was the measure, this was first-class music-making. Trpceski gave a scintillating account of Prokofiev’s knotty third piano concerto, managing to bring a bendy, relaxed manner to the spiky, motoric figurations.

The second movement theme and variations had an improvisatory feel, as if Trpceski, jazzily noodling up and down the keyboard, had suddenly whisked us from the comfort of Symphony Hall to a cocktail bar. After, in response to noisy cheers from a stunned audience, he charmed us with the tiny march from Prokofiev’s Musiques d’enfants as an encore, a mere 34 bars (and nearly as many key changes) of sparky pleasure.” …