Russian Classics

Thursday 27 May 2010 at 7.30pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121-780 3333

Alexander Vedernikov  conductor
Steven Osborne  piano

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Rimsky-Korsakov: Russian Easter Festival Overture 16′
Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 2 20′
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 6 45′

Music director of Moscow’s legendary Bolshoi Theatre since 2001, Alexander Vedernikov makes his CBSO debut with a trio of very different Russian masterpieces. Rimsky’s colourful overture celebrates the Russian Orthodox Easter in a riot of bells and orchestral brilliance, while Prokofiev’s superb post-war symphony strikes a more serious mood in music of great intensity and power. His sometime friend Shostakovich is also famous for his serious symphonies, but this tuneful piano concerto finds him in a lighter mood, and is played for us by the versatile Scottish pianist who has entertained CBSO audiences in music from Mozart to Messiaen.

Alexander Vedernikov’s encore – Beethoven- Bagatelle

Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:

…”The same could be said in a way of Prokofiev’s Sixth Symphony, but here this rent-a-ballet score leads to a desolate, profound experience. Steely woodwind, full-throated strings, fearless horns stood out in a willing orchestra welded so skilfully and idiomatically by Vedernikov as he marshalled the music to its grim conclusion.

Rating: 5/5″

Review by Roger Jones, MusicWeb:

…”Prokofiev’s final symphony is a towering achievement which deserves to be heard more often in this country. Vedernikov managed to inspire the CBSO to play with vigour and commitment to produce a performance which was utterly overwhelming in its impact.”

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