Valery Gergiev


A New Boris Godunov at the Met

René Pape in the title role in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov. Photo Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Modest Mussorgsky (music and libretto), Boris Godunov
Metropolitan Opera House: 10/18/2010.

Boris Godunov – René Pape
Prince Shuisky – Oleg Balashov
Pimen – Mikhail Petrenko
Grigory …


Gergiev’s Russian Stravinsky: Symphony in Three Movements, Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments, Le Sacre du Printemps

In recent years, I've had the feeling that Stravinsky, with the exception of his Sacre du Printemps and the vastly overplayed Pulcinella, has fallen somewhat into neglect. We rarely hear the great choral and dramatic works like Agon and Oedipus Rex, Mass, or even the Symphony of Psalms, not to mention the ballet, Les Noces. James Levine has a predilection for Stravinsky, and he has conducted fine performances of the Sacre and some others, but his effort has been tepid in comparison to his obsessive combing over Mahler, season after season, in preparation for the centenary of the composer's death year in 2011. Hence Gergiev's Stravinsky Festival with the New York Philharmonic is especially welcome, and I very much regret that I was not able to attend more than one of the concerts.

The One and Only Igor: Gergiev conducts Les Noces and Oedipus Rex

In a recent interview the conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, remarked that Igor Stravinsky pulled off the greatest camouflage in the history of music. He was referring to the composer’s lifelong stand that music expresses no emotions, indeed, expresses nothing except sound. Behind this mask, Salonen said, lies a man of deep feeling whose music is often as moving as any ever written. I began to think about Stravinsky and his camouflage, which has always baffled me. How could such glittering creations, each commanding your attention, whether as a shout across the primordial steppes or a murmur like the tick-tock of a mantel clock in the Princesse de Polignac’s salon, be about nothing?


Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra in San Francisco play Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto with Denis Matsuev and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 15

This week, the touring Mariinsky Orchestra, led by the ubiquitous Valery Gergiev, performed two evenings at Davies Hall in San Francisco. The first program, which I did not hear, was devoted to Prokofiev ballets and Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony. The second, more intriguing to me, presented Shostakovich's enigmatic final symphony, as well as an opportunity to assess the Rachmaninoff artistry of Denis Matsuev, who is being hailed these days as a pianist in the Horowitz tradition.

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By :