Tugan Sokhiev conducts Borodin, Ibert, Debussy, and Tchaikovsky — With Emmanuel Pahud
Prague Night with Emmanuel Pahud and the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse
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Join renowned flautist Emmanuel Pahud and the Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, led by the always excellent Tugan Sokhiev, for a stirring concert from the 74th Prague Spring International Music Festival! Opening the program is Borodin's symphonic poem In the Steppes of Central Asia, so instantly evocative that you need only close your eyes to see a caravan slowly advancing across the stark landscape, to hear the songs of Russian soldiers mixed with folk melodies echoing in the vast expanse.
Pahud takes the stage to play the lead role in Jacques Ibert's Flute Concerto, whose motivic flourishes make for an elegant lead-in to the next piece, Debussy's Syrinx. This 1913 solo work lasts only a few minutes, but represents a watershed moment in the history of flute music, often credited with reinvigorating composers' interest in the instrument's possibilities for the remainder of the 20th century. Finally, the evening's finale is grand indeed: Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony, with its memorable "fate" motif harking back to Beethoven's Fifth, expressing a similarly wide swath of human experience and emotion. The orchestration is epic, the accents full of drama, the direction of Tugan Sokhiev irreproachable: a tour de force!