Riccardo Chailly conducts Rachmaninov — With Denis Matsuev

Lucerne Festival

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Denis Matsuev — Pianist

Lucerne Festival Orchestra

Riccardo Chailly — Conductor

Program notes

“In the right hand – for most people – you hold the baton. That hand keeps complete control of rhythm and tempo. The left hand is for colour, flexibility, expression...But conducting is, above all, a gift of nature [...] It’s almost mystical, alchemical, what happens between you and your players and the music. You can’t talk in a concert, after all, except with gesture.” (The Guardian) Join the renowned maestro Riccardo Chailly in a program dedicated to Rachmaninov, with star pianist Denis Matsuev at his side!

The opening concert of the 2019 Lucerne Festival delves into the long shadow cast by the 1917 Russian Revolution on Rachmaninov’s life and art. The first two works on the program—his legendary Third Piano Concerto and his Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14 in its orchestral version—were composed in the decade preceding the event that forced Rachmaninov and his family to flee their native Russia for the West. Once there, he led a nomadic life as a touring virtuoso pianist in order to support himself and his dependents, going long stretches of time without composing. The melancholy Third Symphony, written while he was based in Hertenstein near Lucerne in 1935-36, is typical of his post-1917 output. 

Photo: Riccardo Chailly © Lucapiva | Denis Matsuev © Columbia Artists

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