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Repertoire

Symphonic Concert
Event type: Symphonic concert
Hall: Concert Hall
Subscription: A1 - Symphonic concerts, Z1 - Golden subscription
Price: 50-100 zł
Conductor/Performers
Program
Sergei Rachmaninov
- Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 30 [40’]
Intermission [20']
Sergei Rachmaninov
- Symphonic Dances, Op. 45 [35’]

Following the flop of the premiere of his Symphony No. 1 (1897) Sergei Rachmaninov waited four years before he mustered up the courage to present the world with another work – Piano Concerto No. 2, whose resounding success not only restored his faith in his own skills, but also became a turning point in his career, which soon took him beyond Russia. His subsequent piano concerto, No. 3 in D Minor, was intended for his USA tour. It made its début on 28 October 1909, with Rachmaninov himself on piano and performing with the New York Symphony Society Orchestra under the baton of Walter Damrosch. A short time later it was performed by the rival New York Philharmonic Orchestra led by Gustav Mahler. Despite excellent reviews, especially for Mahler’s rendition (which gave the composer a real boost) this extremely difficult piece did not become widely known at first. The reason was that only Rachmaninov was able to perform it, and even the piano genius Józef Hofmann, to whom the concert was dedicated, refrained from tackling this difficult work. It was not until Vladimir Horowitz that it became popular and was considered emblematic of both Russian neo-Rromanticism and piano playing of great virtuosity. The stunning, melodious and nostalgic main theme of the first movement was to become the hallmark of Rachmaninov’s music.

Dedicated to Eugene Ormandy, Symphonic Dances (1940) is the concluding work in the great Russian’s oeuvre. Initially, these pieces were to be called Fantastic Dances, with programme movement titles of “Noon”, “Twilight” and “Midnight”. However, this idea was later abandoned. Rachmaninov’s penchant for vivid instrumentation, evident in his earlier works, becomes even more intense here (a solo alto saxophone, among other things), and the bold rhythmic patterns and harmony appear to depart from the neo‑ Romantic idiom, to which Rachmaninov was one of the last composers to remain faithful.

 

You are invited to this concert by PKO Bank Polski – Warsaw Philharmonic Strategic Patron of the Year

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