It is one of the most important concerts of the end of the year: Martha Argerich returns to Carnegie Hall for the first time in nine years to play one of her specialties, Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3. She is joined by Rome's Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, returning to the celebrated venue after a 48-year absence. Meanwhile, their music director Sir Antonio Pappano is making his Carnegie Hall debut! With so many anniversaries, this concert becomes all the more significant, a landmark event for soloist, conductor, and orchestra. The program also features one of the two overtures to Aida composed by Verdi, followed by two richly colorful symphonic poems by Respighi: Fontane di Roma and Pini di Roma.
Verdi wrote two overtures to Aida: the well-known version that is usually performed and another. The second one—which opens this program—was discarded by Verdi and restored by Toscanini 70 years later as a dramatic tone poem. The overture is followed by Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto, which combines the composer’s signature irony and impishness with wistful lyricism. This concerto is above all a virtuosic workout for the soloist, but, as André Previn once said, "the word difficult has never been explained to [Martha Argerich]." The second half of the concert features Respighi’s poetic and delicate Fontane di Roma and Pini di Roma. The two works evoke scenes from the "Eternal City," displaying the composer’s serenity, grandiosity, and mastery of the modern orchestra. It was the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia that originally premiered these two works, in 1917 and 1924 respectively!
Click here to view the press release.
Sir Antonio Pappano appears courtesy of Warner Classics.
Audio for this broadcast provided by Classical 105.9 FM WQXR, New York, as part of the Carnegie Hall Live series.
Festival Montréal en lumière
Martha Argerich and Stephen Kovacevich through the eyes of their daughter Stéphanie