Part of SA3 Saturday Evening 3
About This Performance
Dudamel leads a sweeping Russian program that begins at an intense level of post-Romantic passion and concludes with the dazzling mysticism of Scriabin’s visions of rapture.
The Rach 3 has the reputation of being one of the most technically challenging piano concertos in the standard repertoire. That’s not surprising because Rachmaninoff wrote his concertos for himself, and he was among the greatest virtuosos of his era. He possessed extremely large hands, allowing him to maneuver easily through the most complex passages. His playing was marked by striking clarity; where others sounded blurry from overuse of the pedal or inadequate technique, Rachmaninoff’s playing was crystal clear. “The sensational Mr. Trifonov, 24, drew roars of approval as he began a fall residency in New York. He is the star attraction of the [N.Y.] Philharmonic’s Rachmaninoff festival.” (The New York Times)
The program ends with the Poem of Ecstasy, Scriabin’s one-movement symphonic poem closely related to his intense interest in Theosophy. To accompany (but not be recited with) this piece, Scriabin wrote a poem of over three hundred lines that tracks the ascent of a spirit into consciousness. As with much of his later music, he built the Poem on his “mystic chord,” which he said “was designed to afford instant apprehension of – that is, to reveal – what was in essence beyond the mind of man to conceptualize. Its preternatural stillness was a gnostic intimation of a hidden otherness.” His writing gives many clues about his thinking and composing.
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