Tchaikovsky’s violin concert with its fiery melodies in uninterrupted long segments shows that Tchaikovsky was the champion of creating melodies.
Into the music begins at 18.30, with Elisabet Skaar Sijpkens.
The heartfelt, romantic concert follows the standard order, fast-slow tempo, and requires an enormous virtuosity from the soloist, especially in the outer movement. The first movement, an allegro moderato, is graceful and lyrical, but also builds in emotional intensity until the first cadence. In contrast, a peaceful, mournful andante cantabile comes as a second movement. The concert’s final movement follows without a break. It is marked allegro vivacissimo, with huge and vibrant energy, and also incorporates a Russian dance. A nostalgic side-theme provides a kind of emotional counterpoint to the more high energy parts of the movement, but it is eventually overshadowed by a passionate and energetic finale.
The violin concert was performed in Vienna in 1881 with Adolph Brodsky as a soloist. The work was not an immediate success, but has since become one of the most popular violin concerts in the repertoire.
Sergei Rachmaninov’s last composition is his Symphonic Dances from 1940. The work consists of three dances, and the first dance has the title “Non allegro”. He thought more about character than pace; allegro originally means happy and cheerful, and Rachmaninov’s dance is more scary and creepy. Within the frame of a symphonic dance, the second dance presents a haunting vision of the ballroom. The finale cites the Gregorian song Dies Irae (The Day of the Wrath) from the Roman Catholic Church’s Exhibition for the Dead (Requiem Mass), describing Judgment Day. The musical material also contains a traditional Russian hymn, Blessed be the Lord, and it eventually breaks out a furious conflict between Dies Iraq and the hymn. The hymn finally wins the duel, and a hallelujah theme taken from Rachmaninov’s choral work, Vespers, takes over triumphantly. Thus, Rachmaninov concludes his career as a composer, and at the end of the manuscript he also adds the words “I thank you, God.”
Stanislav Kochanovsky, conductor
Marc Bouckov, violin
Rakhmaninov: Symfoniske danser