fr | nl
ticketshop become a friend
Boris Giltburg / Johan Jacobs

Brussels Philharmonic & Boris Giltburg

Rachmaninov Festival Day #03

The Monumental Years. Two monumental masterpieces by contemporaries Rachmaninov and Ravel – diametrical opposites as regards style and approach, but allies in capturing and translating intense emotions.

Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto, often referred to as the "Mount Everest" of piano concertos, is said to contain more notes than all of Mozart’s piano concertos taken together, and according to Rachmaninov himself, was written "for elephants". In 1910, the composer placed this new work on the programme of his first American tour, and played the virtuoso piano part himself.

It is an unusual and monumental work, not only because of its length or technical difficulty for the pianist. But the expressive melodies and subtle interplay between the piano and the orchestra make it a summit of Rachmaninov’s oeuvre. It wide renown among the general public would come only years later, thanks to the film “Shine” (1996) about the obsessive fascination of the pianist David Helfgott for the ‘Rach 3’. The world was able to rediscover one of Rachmaninov’s most mature and original works.

Ravel was a contemporary of Rachmaninov’s, but their styles could not have been farther from each other: Rachmaninov clung to sumptuous Romanticism, while Ravel was more interested in experimentation and innovation. Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloé is as monumental as the Rach 3: grandiose, expressive and enchanting, a masterly highpoint in Ravel’s work.

Flagey, Brussels Philharmonic

You may also be interested in: