When knights were bold… Glazunov’s musical time travel to the Middle Ages sets the scene for a truculent concerto whose protean first movement takes no hostages, and a dashing symphony-turned suite that’s a concert hall rarity.
Glazunov From the Middle Ages Overture
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3
Tchaikovsky Suite No. 3
Conductor Kirill Karabits
Piano David Fray
A stirring, swashbuckling slice of medieval life with a knock-out main melody of almost Straussian opulence raises the curtain on a programme that returns to Russia for an orchestral suite that brought Tchaikovsky his greatest triumph to date. Composed in 1884 (and a close neighbour of the Manfred Symphony we heard last month), it’s a work full of guileless tunefulness, seductive textures and artful restraint – pulling on its dancing shoes for a Valse mélancolique and concluding Polacca. In between comes Beethoven in C minor, always a turbulent prospect though the Piano Concerto No.3 boasts an irresistibly serene soft centre and a Finale that fizzes.
“An adept accompanist” (The Telegraph), in his second appearance of the series Kirill Karabits is joined by headturning French pianist David Fray. “The perfect example of a thinking musician” according to Die Welt, “he is an artist we need to hear more of” enthuses The New York Times.
Watch a clip of the orchestra in action:
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