Prelude to Khovanshchina
Cello Concerto No. 1
Symphony No. 3, Eroica
Benjamin Zander, conductor
Andrei Ioniță, cello
There is no doubt whatsoever that Beethoven’s epochal “Eroica” Symphony changed music forever. It heralded a bold new musical language and a whole new stance of the composer to his audience. Beethoven dictated the terms, made the rules – the tastes and preferences of the audience and the convenience or ego of the performer were no longer to be taken into account. Everything about this symphony is unprecedented: size, its range of expression, its harmonic audacity, its political and philosophical implications, its demands on the orchestra and on the conductor. In these performances the attempt will be to recapture the extraordinary newness, the nowness, of the pinnacle of the symphonic repertoire.
The concert begins with the prelude to Mussorgsky’s marvelous, but sadly incomplete, last opera. Khovanshchina is a work that has had many champions—Rimsky-Korsakov, Stravinsky, Shostakovich—but has yet to find a firm place in the western operatic tradition. Thankfully for us the enchanting prelude, an evocation of dawn over the river Moscow, has become a staple of the concert hall. -Benjamin Zander
International Tchaikovsky Competition winner, cellist Andrei Ioniță, will perform Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1. The Times of London raves:
"Unless a programme of Debussy, Wagner, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov pops is your cup of tea, I’d advise staying at home. Except that would mean missing one of the most exciting cellists to have emerged for a decade: the 20-year-old Andrei Ionut Ionita, whose reading of Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C major coupled an intense beauty of tone with articulation of startling wit and playfulness.
Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1 - 28 minutes
Beethoven Symphony No. 3, Eroica - 51 minutes
"So he is no more than a common mortal! Now, too, he will tread under foot all the rights of Man, indulge only his ambition; now he will think himself superior to all men, become a tyrant!"
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