Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto no. 2, Op. 18
J. Brahms: Symphony no. 4, Op. 98
Ivo Pogorelich, piano
Orquestra Simfònica Camera Musicae
Tomàs Grau, conductor
A WANDERING GHOST
In this programme, we present two misplaced composers of their time, Johannes Brahms, considered a classic among romantics, and Sergei Rachmaninov, the most romantic among the Russian classicists, who considered himself a wandering ghost in an alien world.
Another connection point between the two composers is the trauma of writing their first symphonies. Brahms did not dare write a symphony until he was 43, feeling pressured in the shadow of the great Beethoven. Rachmaninov’s trauma came after the disaster of the premiere of his first symphony, leading to three years of depression and creative blockage.
Piano Concerto No. 2 is the work that brought the Russian composer back to the music scene, with great success. Many of the melodies of his three movements are already part of popular culture thanks to songs like I Think of You and Full Moon and Empty Arms by Frank Sinatra or All by Myself covered by Celine Dion. The effect of bells at the beginning is also remarkable, very characteristic in works of other composers such as Alexander Borodin or Modest Mussorgsky.
After daring Brahms to write his first symphony, the fourth came relatively soon. Composed in the summer of 1884, the highlight is the passacaglia of the last movement, based on Cantata 150, which is part of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Ciaconna: Meine Tage in den Leiden.
Biography Ivo Pogorelich
Ivo Pogorelich was born in Belgrade in 1958. At the age of seven he received his first piano lesson and at twelve moved to Moscow to study piano at the Central School of Music and later at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory. In 1976, he began intensive studies with the famous pianist and teacher Aliza Kezeradze, to whom he was married from 1980. In 1978, he won the Casagrande International Competition in Terni (Italy) and in 1980 the Montreal International Music Competition. However, it was a prize that he did not win that made him world famous. In 1980, he entered the Warsaw International Chopin Competition, where his elimination in the third round sparked fierce controversy and attracted the attention of the entire musical world.
Since his debut recital at Carnegie Hall in New York in 1981, Ivo Pogorelich’s performances have caused a sensation in every major concert hall in the world: the United States & Canada, Europe, Japan, South America and Israel. He has been invited to play with numerous great orchestras, such as the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, all the London orchestras, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic and the Paris Orchestra. Wherever he plays, his superb interpretations of the music confirm the originality of his talent and intellect.
In 1988, he was named Goodwill Ambassador to UNESCO