Lahav Shani conducts Pigovat, Rachmaninov, and Stravinsky — With Juan Pérez Floristán

Israel Philharmonic

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Juan Pérez Floristán — Pianist

Israel Philharmonic

Lahav Shani — Conductor

Program notes

The charismatic Lahav Shani and the Israel Philharmonic welcome Spanish pianist Juan Pérez Floristán, 2021's Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition winner (an honor shared with Emanuel Ax, Kirill Gerstein, and Daniil Trifonov), to show off his fiery artistry in Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini! The IPO also perform Stravinsky's balletic masterpiece Petrushka and a symphonic poem by contemporary composer Boris Pigovat.

Pigovat's …therefore choose life… opens the evening, an expression of the composer's conviction that "life (with all its pain, suffering and tragedies) is meant to be filled with beauty, hope, light and love." Next, Floristán steps up to meet the challenges of Rachmaninov's de facto Fifth Piano Concerto, the ingenious Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, a whirlwind of virtuosity and tenderness (especially in the famous 18th Variation, the staggeringly beautiful result of an inversion of the main theme). The grand finale is Stravinsky's Petrushka, the second of three epoch-making ballets composed just before World War I (after The Firebird and before The Rite of Spring)—as audacious and irresistible as ever over a century later.

Photo © Marco Borggreve

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