Leonskaja Plays Grieg

Saturday 3 November 2012 at 7.00pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121 345 0603

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Alexander Vedernikov conductor
Elisabeth Leonskaja piano

Sibelius: Karelia Suite 14′ Listen on Spotify
Grieg: Piano Concerto 30′
Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 1 41′ Listen on Spotify

Elisabeth Leonskaja’s encore – Mozart’s piano Sonata no.12 KV 332 in F Major – Adagio

An angry snarl, an ominous chant, and a doom-laden fanfare – and that’s just the start! When the young Sergei Rachmaninov launched his First Symphony, he didn’t pull his punches. It’s an epic tragedy of fate and desire, poured out in music that burns with passion, and Russian guest conductor Alexander Vedernikov is sure to give it his all. Sibelius’s cheerful Karelia Suite is quite a contrast – and in the hands of the superb Elisabeth Leonskaja, Grieg’s ever-popular Piano Concerto should sparkle like new. www.cbso.co.uk

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Review by Katherine Dixson, BachTrack:

Click here for full review

…     “She exuded an intriguing combination of business-like focus on the task in hand and passion for the music and her instrument. The result was a rare bell-like quality. Ms Leonskaja’s sensitive and masterful playing was complemented by a very watchable attitude that was completely at one with the music, including an endearing flourish of the arms at the end of fast passages, fists clenched, so powerful that it threatened to propel her into the front row.”     […]

[… ]    “Just when we thought the evening couldn’t get any more dramatic, guest conductor Alexander Vedernikov, formerly of the Bolshoi, demonstrated a remarkable affinity with compatriot Rachmaninov and directed the players through a blistering performance of his Symphony no. 1 in D minor. Vedernikov’s expressive arms seemed to reach for the roof and his over-the-collar hair bounced with vigour. The programme notes included the headings “A night in hell… From the ashes… Defying destiny… Grand passions”, and the music was correspondingly angst-ridden.”     …

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