Russian prodigy Alexander Malofeev joins Kristjan Järvi and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic for a concert of folk music-inspired works by Pärt, Rachmaninov, and Stravinsky, live from this year's Rheingau Musik Festival at the Friedrich-von-Thiersch Hall (Wiesbaden, Germany).
The program opens with Pärt's Swansong, a contemplative orchestral hymn composed in honor of the 200th birthday of the 19th-century theologian, poet, and thinker Cardinal John Henry Newman. Originally conceived as a choral work with organ accompaniment, the orchestral version premiered in 2013. 15-year-old Russian pianist Alexander Malofeev then takes the stage for Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2, music by a composer Malofeev holds particularly dear: "Rachmaninov is one of my favorite composers, and the Second Piano Concerto expresses his Russian soul. I’ve been dreaming about playing this music for a long time."
The concert culminates with a performance of the 1945 orchestral suite version of Stravinsky's The Firebird. An incredible feature of this performance: the orchestra will play the work entirely from memory! As Järvi puts it, "performing The Firebird from memory is all about chemistry and communication. It should feel like the players are improvising music that they have known for a long time."
Swansong (Littlemore Tractus) for orchestra
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18
Baltic Sea Philharmonic
Kristjan Järvi, conductor
Alexander Malofeev, piano