Of love and Death
On 29 November the fifth Eurasia International Music Festival opens in Ekaterinburg with the Russian premiere of Hans Werner Henze's scenic oratorio Das Floß der Medusa. Together with Sarah Wegener (soprano), Holger Falk (baritone) and Vladimir Ognev (narrator), the Ural Philharmonic Orchestra and the Yekaterinburg Philharmonic Choir under Dmitry Liss will stage the work. The festival will present numerous musical highlights through 6 December.
Under the theme "Songs of Love and Death", the festival brings together internationally renowned artists such as conductors Dmitry Sinkovsky, Oliver Zeffman and Andrei Petrenko, pianists Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Mikhail Pletnev and the GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, soprano Julia Lezhneva, the baroque ensemble La Voce Strumentale and the Georgian Mdzlevari Ensemble in the city on the Urals. Among other pieces, Olivier Messiaen's Tristan Trilogy will be heard for the first time as a complete cycle in Russia. The Eurasia International Music Festival sees itself as a platform for artistic dialogue between East and West.
For the Ural Philharmonic Orchestra, the festival is the second highlight of the season within a few weeks: Only shortly before the festival begins will they return from their major European tour, which focused on Rachmaninov's symphonic poem The Bells.
29.11. to 6.12.2019
Eurasia International Music Festival
Bells on tour
Sergei Rachmaninov himself regarded it as one of his best works: the symphonic poem The Bells ("Kolokola") from 1913. The Ural Philharmonic Orchestra and the Yekaterinburg Philharmonic Choir, conducted by Dmitry Liss, as well as vocal soloists from the Mariinsky Theatre St. Petersburg, are now performing the work at the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Philharmonie Luxembourg and the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, among others. The tour begins with concerts in Graz on November 4 and 5.
There, however, Prokofiev's Piano Concerto, featuring soloist Nikolai Lugansky, along with works by Kodály and Bartók will be heard, before the orchestra’s Rachmaninov program is performed in Vienna on 9 November. "The sound of the church bells dominated all the Russian cities I knew. They accompany every Russian from childhood to death and no composer could escape their influence," said Rachmaninov himself about the bells. In the work, which is based on a poem by Edgar Allan Poe, he evokes echoes of sleigh bells, wedding bells, fire bells and death bells.
In his vespers for mixed choir a cappella, which will be heard at the concerts in Vienna and Hamburg, Rachmaninov portrays the art of making voices sound like bells. In Luxembourg, the programme also includes the symphonic poem Die Toteninsel and - also with Nikolai Lugansky - the Rhapsodie on a Theme by Paganini. At the concert in the Bremen Glocke, the orchestra, along with violinist Antje Weithaas, will undertake another repertoire excursion: the programme here will include Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto and his 4th Symphony.
4. and 5.11.2019, 19:30
Musikverein Graz, Stefaniensaal
Bremen, Die Glocke