ZIMMERMANN Music for King Ubu’s Dinner
RACHMANINOV Rhapsody on a Paganini Theme, op. 43
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LUTOSŁAWSKI Variations on a Paganini Theme
STRAVINSKY Rite of Spring
Featuring: Andrei Korobeinikov piano
Conductor: András Keller
Paganini’s 24th Caprice inspired two great 20th century Slav composers. In the mid-1930s, while living in a Swiss chalet, Rachmaninov composed the virtuoso variation series; the pianist-composer commented later, somewhat cynically, that as regards the most famous, moving 18th variation: “this one is for my agent”. In 1941, as a cabaret pianist in extremely trying circumstances, Warsaw having been occupied by the Germans, Lutosławski similarly touched on Paganini’s theme. The work for two pianos is the only surviving opus from this period of Lutosławski’s life, which he arranged for piano and orchestra in the late 1970s. Soloist of the concert, globe-trotting virtuoso (and law graduate) Andrei Korobeinikov, is not only an expert Rachmaninov performer but he follows in the footsteps of his great predecessor in another way: he finished the Moscow conservatory at the age of just 19, as did Rachmaninov. Concerto Budapest winds up the concert with the representative work of the early 20th century, Rite of Spring, under the baton of András Keller. Even the great Herbert von Karajan was open about the extreme difficulties posed by this work that tests both conductor and orchestra to the limits.