Former chief conductor Riccardo Chailly continues to hold the title of conductor emeritus of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. And when he returns, the orchestra is in trusted, safe hands, particularly when he conducts such popular repertoire as Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird, the suites from which are a favourite of Chailly, the orchestra and audiences. And it’s easy to see why: in addition to being a wonderful fairy tale, The Firebird is one of those exciting works in which nineteenth-century Romanticism takes on bright, modern colours.
The Israeli violin phenomenon Vadim Gluzman, whose mentor was none other than the master Isaac Stern, is reviving a great violin tradition of yesteryear. Gluzman is performing Dmitry Shostakovich’s Second Violin Concerto, a work as remarkable as it is fascinating. When Shostakovich wrote the work, his great tormentor Stalin had been dead for fourteen years. All the same, this tortured music makes painfully audible the scars of years of repression and terror.