Mussorgsky Night on Bald Mountain
Prokofiev Piano Concerto No.2 in g-minor, op.16
--- intermission ---
Prokofiev Battle on the Ice from Alexander Nevsky
Scriabin Prometheus: The Poem of Fire
Featuring Lucas Debargue piano
Conductor András Keller
This concert programme is characterized by the monopoly of Russian music. Modest Mussorgsky clarified Night on the Bare Mountain in the same year as the Austro-Hungarian Compromise (1867), and then he shoved the score in the back of a drawer because in its original form it did not meet with the approval of his mentor, Balakirev. The musical witches sabbath later became famous with instrumentalization and arrangements by Rimski-Korsakov, and to this day the work is largely performed in this variation. Prokofiev’s second piano concerto had an even more convoluted fate: the score completed in 1913 was destroyed amidst the turmoil of the Russian Revolution so Prokofiev set about reconstructing it purely from memory in 1923. “The cats on the roof make better music!” is one opinion voiced at its premiere in 1913, although today one can but marvel at this astoundingly difficult work, the soloist of which is French pianist Lucas Debargue born in 1990. The second Prokofiev item comes after the intermission, originally written as film music for Eisenstein’s classic Alexander Nevsky from 1938. One year later the composer had arranged the film music into a cantata of the same name. The closing work (Scriabin) revolves around the Prometheus myth: for the original performances the author invented a so-called tastiéra per luce (keyboard with lights) so that audiences could perceive the colours corresponding to the notes.