Masters of Melody
Venue Details: Lighthouse
- Scriabin : Reverie
- Mendelssohn : Piano Concerto No. 2
- Rachmaninov : Symphony No. 2
- Conductor : Alexander Vedernikov
- Soloist: Saleem Abboud Ashkar (Piano)
Scriabin’s Rêverie, premiered by Rimsky Korsakov in 1898, was criticised for its brevity, yet it is packed full of beautifully crafted orchestral colour and texture. Luscious harmonies interweave to create a swirling dreamscape that ebbs and flows mysteriously.
The Piano Concerto in D Minor was written for performance at the Birmingham Festival of 1837. It opens unusually with a quiet, almost menacing, dialogue between the soloist and orchestra and a mood of darkness and mystery pervades most of the first movement, balanced by a delicately light, lively and brilliant finale.
Regarding his first symphony a failure, it was to be another 12 years before Rachmaninov began work on a second, and even then, he kept it a secret. The first moments of this piece are elemental oozing Russian melancholy. Several rhythmic and melodic ideas that are developed throughout the entire symphony derive from the opening gestures. This symphony’s sound-world is remarkable: sombre harmonies complement orchestration like deeply burnished mahogany. Audiences approved and Rachmaninov was vindicated as a symphonist.
"Ashkar’s dancing finger-work fully decorated the ensuing melodies with an infectiously engaging bravura."