Valery Gergiev Rehearses Prokofiev's Scythian Suite

Valery Gergiev in Rehearsal with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

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Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

Valery Gergiev — Conductor

Program notes

The series "In Rehearsal" offers a new portrait: Valery Gergiev conducts The Scythian Suite with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Scythian Suite is of particular interest in that Gergiev has a personal affinity with this composition. The Scythians lived in the region of the Caucasus where Gergiev has his roots: Ossetia. The ancient myths associated with these illustrious, blood-thirsty, but highly-cultured tribal nomads are an important part of the heritage of the Ossets. Intimately filmed and informed throughout by Gergiev's infectious passion for his work, this music-filled documentary captures the fascinating dynamics between the galvanic conductor and his orchestra, as he seeks to convey the spirit of the quintessentially Russian piece to Western musicians. Footage of rehearsals and performance are interwoven with comments from Gergiev and Oleg Prokofiev, the composer's son; archive film material of Prokofiev; and examples of Scythian treasures in the Hermitage Museum, to create a picture of the composer and his music. The film gives a unique insight into the chemistry which exists between composer, conductor and orchestra, and the means by which a masterly performance is achieved.

Great conductors in rehearsal:

Featuring some of today’s leading conductors in rehearsal, this series gives a unique insight into the process of creating great music. The conductors’ very different styles and methods; the dialogue between an orchestra and an inspired interpreter; the intensity of the preparations for a concert performance; and the struggle towards perfection are captured in these revealing audio-visual records. Most episodes include a full run-through of the work rehearsed. All include interviews with the conductor who is seen at work, Valery Gergiev, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Roger Norrington, Pierre Boulez and Christoph von Dohnányi.

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