The Concertgebouworkest is bringing different worlds together. In juxtaposition with Sibelius’s First Symphony and a new work by the South Korean composer Unsuk Chin, Alexander Gavrylyuk is making a solo appearance in Prokofiev’s exciting Third Piano Concerto.
Prokofiev and Sibelius were innovators, yet their music attests to the fact that they both still had one foot in the nineteenth century. The result is a mix of surprises and firm grounding. Sibelius’s symphonies are also imbued with a totally unique atmosphere you won’t find in the works of any other composer, partly because of their Finnish perspective. The First Symphony is an early demonstration of his originality: who else would have thought to start a symphony with a lonely duet between clarinet and timpani?
Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto has everything that typically makes his music so exciting: a very Russian feel for melody, shock effects, rousing rhythms and wry humour. This flamboyant concerto is a favourite with pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk, renowned for his interpretations of the Russian repertoire. Gavrylyuk made a spectacular Amsterdam debut in 2009. Critics have praised not only his fabulous technique, but also his profoundness and sense of colour. He has since returned several times, and to great acclaim.
The music of the successful South Korean composer Unsuk Chin is a spellbinding mix of European and Asian elements. She has now been commissioned by the Concertgebouworkest for the first time to write a new work.