The basis for the show’s five different genre programs were works of classical and contemporary art, the best examples of academic music, and literary masterpieces. Outstanding directors, musicians and vocalists, choirs and symphonic groups, famous theater and film artists participated in the concerts of the festival. Among the guests of the festival are Denis Matsuev and Yuri Bashmet, the Moscow Chamber Ensemble of Soloists, the Choir Chapel. Yurlova, Sveshnikov Choir, soloists of leading opera houses, artists of the Moscow Art Theater. Chekhov.
Olga Tomina, artistic director of the Nizhny Novgorod Philharmonic. Rostropovich explains: “The current” Three Anniversary Festival “is a kind of” time machine “. It takes us back to the era of three geniuses: Rachmaninoff, Gorky and Chaliapin, who were united by creative and humane friendship. associated with Nizhny. Novgorod”.
At the opening of the festival, the Nizhny Novgorod Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of its new chief conductor Vladimir Ponkin, performed Rachmaninov. A day later, Vladimir Ponkin again stood at the console of the Nizhny Novgorod team at a concert dedicated to Chaliapin. The famous basses of the Mariinsky Opera Company performed at the offering concert: Vladimir Vaneev and his students, laureates of international competitions Miroslav Molchanov and Gleb Peryazev.
The lineup for the last two days of the festival was attended by “Moscow Soloists” conducted by Yuri Bashmet and pianist Denis Matsuev. A touching literary and musical evening “Love Stories” – artists of the Chekhov Moscow Art Theater Mikhail Porechenkov, Avangard Leontiev, Igor Zolotovitsky, Christina Babushkina and Natasha Shvets read the stories of Chekhov, Gorky, Kuprin and Bunin. Gorky’s “Story of Unrequited Love” was replaced by Chekhov’s “The Story of Mrs. NN”, and that “Holy Love” by Kuprin. The variety of feelings and facets of love of the characters was skillfully combined in their music by the Moscow composer Kuzma Bodrov (he was also at the piano as part of a chamber ensemble on stage).
And the finale of the “Three Anniversary Festival” and the entire musical season of the Nizhny Novgorod Philharmonic was a solo concert by the People’s Artist of Russia, the world-famous pianist Denis Matsuev. Matsuev’s only performance was an unexpected surprise even for the most loyal admirers of his talent.
It was interesting to listen to selected piano compositions by Sergei Rachmaninov, framed by a series of characteristic Matsuev “bias”. Denis noted that he had amassed up to two hundred of those works over the years of touring! Well then, within the framework of an encore of this type, the spontaneous choice continued to obey a momentary decision and the interpretive will of the artist. The greatest intrigue was preserved in the trial of the clavirabend himself.
Some of the pieces chosen by Denis formed the basis of the pianist Rachmaninov’s repertoire. The baroque ornamentation of Georg Friedrich Handel’s Aria with Variations gave way to the stormy finale of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Sonata 17 and Franz Schubert’s pacified Impromptu No. 3, Op.90. Each of Denis’s numbers was preceded by a short, unassuming story about how he got this encore into his book, what appealed to him.
For example, the dizzying exercise “Juggler” by Moritz Moszkowski arose thanks to one of the recordings of the legendary Vladimir Horowitz, a recently released disc of a solo concert by the hitherto unknown musician. The same goes for the impetuous “Presto” by Francis Poulenc (the duration of this miniature does not exceed a minute!). Matsuev’s virtuosity and brilliant temperament don’t hold up, and this thing literally flew past him in one fell swoop.
The Russian line of the program continued with the miniatures May (“White Nights”) and October (“Autumn Song”) from the cycle of characteristic works “The Seasons” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, as well as two studies by Alexander Scriabin. The concert ended with the finale of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Second Sonata.
The audience, captivated by the art of Matsuev’s inspired work, did not want to let him leave the stage. As a reward, Denis presented his beloved audience with several more generous musical surprises: an elegant study by Jean Sibelius and a medley on jazz themes and folk motifs from Edvard Grieg’s “Peer Gynt”. The elementary bravado of the passages of the play “In the Hall of the Mountain King”, formed on the theme of the famous “Solveig’s Song”, recreated the mystical atmosphere of the trolls and evil spirits of the Norwegian fjords.
Pianist Denis Matsuev:
Encores are an absolutely amazing special status not only for every musician, but also for the audience, because they usually come after the main program and today form its basis.
I love cookies. They are usually considered as if they were the third part of the concert, a kind of dessert for the public. There is great freedom in the choice of encores. Every time I sit on a bench, I decide what I am going to do in the moment, here and now. I never do special encores. Each of them is on my fingers and in my head.
The intrigue of each concert is that I don’t know what I’m going to play. There is a certain spontaneity and freshness in this.
The “skeleton” of the concert program consisted of works by Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninov – one of the anniversaries of the Nizhny Novgorod festival. Our great Russian genius was talented in all three roles: composer, pianist and conductor. Rachmaninoff is an icon for me, as well as for millions of performers and lovers of classical music. Rachmaninov’s piano legacy as a performer is priceless. His interpretations are unique, each of the composer’s pieces an absolute masterpiece. Every day around the world his ingenious music is heard, which is the best medicine anywhere on our Earth.