The Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France performs Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff with Evgeny Kissin
40:47Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2 by Evgeny Kissin
53:58Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 "Pathétique" conducted by Myung-Whun Chung
Myung-Whun Chung conducts the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2. Live recording on September 19, 2014 at the Salle Pleyel (Paris).
Russian music is celebrated in this concert beginning with Rachmaninoff’s very famous Piano Concerto No. 2. Performed on stage ever since its creation, taken over by the movie industry (Billy Wilder’s comedy The Seven Year Itch with Marilyn Monroe for example), the piece have proven to stand the test of time. A nice reward for its creator as it was born in troubled times. In 1897, Rachmaninoff was devastated after his first symphony’s failure. Thanks to a treatment with neurologist Nikolai Dahl using hypnosis, he was saved from depression. An efficient therapy indeed: if the Symphony didn’t manage to win the audience's heart, the Concerto’s success kept on growing and still does today. The first theme « imposes itself in a striking manner as one of the most Russian themes that exist, the soul of the theme being Russian itself (…). From the first ring bell, you can see Russia standing up in all its height » explains the musicologist Laeticia Le Guay citing the words of Nikolai Medtner, a friend of Rachmaninoff’s.
The second part of the program is dedicated to a piece as gigantic as the first one: Symphony No. 6 of Tchaikovsky. Both death and life seem to mix in this finale work, created nine days before the composer’s passing in 1893. Tchaikovsky described it like a “program” piece, a “program” secret to all that the audience is left to unveil.