Described by the Chicago Tribune as a "Russian firebrand", pianist Denis Kozhukhin performs Alexey Shor's Travel Notebook for Piano and Orchestra in this concert at the Malta International Music Festival. Maestro Sergey Smbatyan and the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra round off their fantastical, globe-trotting program with Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade.
A contemporary composer whose musical style has been compared to Rachmaninov's and Chopin's, Alexey Shor premiered his work "Travel Notebook" in a concert of the 2017 Armenia International Festival and Competition with Nareh Arghamanyan at the piano. The work transports listeners to far-flung destinations depicted with highly evocative and cinematic music. It opens with a prayer for travelers ("Wayfarer's Prayer"), followed by six movements, each inspired by a celebrated European city (Barcelona, Rome, Paris, Ravenna, Venice, and Ascot respectively).
The concert opens with Rimsky-Korsakov's four-movement symphonic suite Scheherazade. Inspired by the fictional past of the Arabian fairytale collection A Thousand and One Nights, listeners are swept away to the world of the beautiful Scheherazade, who avoids execution by mesmerizing the Sultan of Baghdad for one-thousand-and-one nights with one-thousand-and-one tales.
Scheherazade, Op. 35
"Travel Notebook", Concerto for Piano and Orchestra
Johann Sebastian Bach / Alexander Ilyich Siloti
Prelude in B Minor (from BWV 855a)
Denis Kozhukhin, piano
Armenian State Symphony Orchestra
Sergey Smbatyan, conductor