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On the eve of New Year's holidays, the Moscow State Academic Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Pavel Kogan continues its famous musical anthology “Favorite Piano Concerts”. The subscription programs include the best piano concerts from the treasury of world musical culture and delight listeners with the favorite names of outstanding pianists and conductors who have conquered the world musical Olympus.
The first musical evening will be dedicated to the two central figures of the piano and composer schools of the first half of the 19th century - the outstanding French composer Camille Saint-Saens, well known to classical music lovers around the world, and the outstanding Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
The program of the evening will open with Episodes of the Great Zoological Fantasy “Carnival of the Animals” and Concerto No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra by the unsurpassed master of orchestral writing Camille Saint-Saens. Being a universally gifted and talented person, he left behind a descendant of a rich artistic legacy, among which there is one amazing composition. This is a comic suite for an instrumental ensemble, named by the maestro "Carnival of the Animals". The unusual composition conquered the whole world, despite the fact that at first it was condemned by the author himself. Saint-Saens personally banned the publishing of the “Carnival of the Animals”, so as not to “become famous for the author of stupid musical works.” However, fate has prepared eternal immortality for this masterpiece of the composer. “Carnival of the Animals” is one of his most popular works, this work is filled with humor, sometimes turning into satire, it parodies well-known musical works (in the form of stylizations and even precise quotations), ridicules human vices. The importance of sound vividness is also great (imitating the voices of animals, the flow of water, etc.)
There will also be performed the Piano Concerto No. 2 dedicated to the A Madame A. de Villers née de Haber, the wife of the financier Auguste Legrand de Villers. Saint-Saens was inspired by his creative friendship with Anton Rubinstein, with whom he performed more than once as a conductor.
The virtuoso solo part of the concert will be performed by the pianist - Alexei Melnikov, laureate of the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition.
The second part will feature the well-known and dearly beloved worldwide Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The first concert for piano and orchestra by Tchaikovsky opened a new era in Russian piano music. This is the first example of this genre in Russian culture. It is no coincidence that researchers note that Tchaikovsky's work significantly exceeds everything written before him in significance. The musical part of the concert is based on Ukrainian folk melodies, as the composer intended from the very beginning.
There are three versions of the First Concerto in total, but the most popular was the last one, which was made after the composer's death. The author's version was performed at the end of the 20th century only by the pianist Lazar Berman together with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Y. Temirkanov. The first concert is still included in the compulsory program of the final of the Tchaikovsky International Competitions (since 1958).
The virtuoso solo part of the concert will be performed by the Russian pianist Alexei Volodin, an exclusive artist of Steinway & Sons.
The conductor will be Valentin Zhuk - Soviet and Dutch violinist, Winner of the 1st Prize at the performing competition at the World Festival of Youth and Students in Warsaw in 1957, laureate of the Tchaikovsky International Competition (1958, 6th prize), the Long and Thibault International Competition ( 1960, 2nd prize), Paganini Violin Competition (1963, 2nd prize). Concertmaster of the Dutch Radio Symphony Orchestra.