Sergei ProkofievPiano Concerto No. 3 in C major op.26 Sergei Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27
One of the last romantics of the 20th century and a stubborn provocateur meet in the debut concert of Latvian conductor Ainārs Rubiķis. While Sergei Rachmaninov remained true to the romantic tradition of his Russian homeland, his melodies and tendency to melancholy even after his emigration to the USA, and his irrepressible will to experiment brought Sergei Prokofiev the reputation of an enfant terrible. His 3rd piano concerto, interpreted by the American pianist Claire Huangci, is one of his most imaginative works. The cheerful serenity, the grotesque humor, the harmonious boldness and the typical motor skills that reveal the “machine age” contrast the longing, highly emotional soundscape of Rachmaninoff's opulent 2nd symphony. But even in Prokofiev's piano concerto there are echoes of late romanticism with cleverly integrated lyrical moments. The keyboard virtuoso premiered his 3rd piano concerto in Chicago himself in 1921, long before he finally returned to his native Russia, whose people and songs he had missed during the years of exile.
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