National Symphony Orchestra and Mihhail Gerts: Rachmaninov, Eduard Tubin

National Symphony Orchestra and Mihhail Gerts: Rachmaninov, Eduard Tubin

Friday, 26 May 2023, 7.30pm

The National Symphony Orchestra is set to deliver an enchanting evening of Eastern European romance and drama at their anniversary concert. Led by the “dynamic and communicative” Mihhail Gerts, the orchestra will showcase the remarkable talents of five distinguished performers from Estonia and Ukraine. Joining the ensemble are soprano Mirjam Mesak, tenor Valentyn Dytiuk, baritone Andrei Bondarenko, and the National Symphony Chorus.

The concert programme features a captivating selection of compositions, paying tribute to the 150th birth anniversary of renowned composer Sergei Rachmaninov. The evening begins with Rachmaninov’s evocative piece, “The Isle of the Dead.” Inspired by Arnold Böcklin’s enigmatic painting, the composition takes listeners on a poignant journey, portraying the solemn passage of two figures on a boat carrying a draped coffin across still waters towards an ominous shore. Rachmaninov’s mastery shines through, capturing intense emotions with unforgettable passion and power.

Another highlight of the concert is Rachmaninov’s “The Bells,” a four-movement choral symphony. Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s poem of the same name, the symphony explores the various stages of life, from youthful exuberance to the contemplation of mortality. Each movement represents a different phase, ranging from joyous celebrations to poignant reflections, all brought to life through Rachmaninov’s mesmerizing orchestration.

The programme also includes the Sinfonietta on Estonian Motifs by Estonian composer Eduard Tubin. Tubin’s work reflects his deep connection to his homeland, incorporating elements of Estonian folk music into his compositions. The Sinfonietta showcases the beauty and charm of Estonian motifs, with expressive passages for woodwinds, strings, and brass.

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Added by The Journal of Music on 22 May 2023

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