Hough plays Rachmaninoff ­

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Date Location Price
23 Feb 2023 » 19:30 » Thursday Eldborg | Harpa 2.900 - 8.700 kr.
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  • Program

    Sergei Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto no. 2
    Dmitri Shostakovich Symphony no. 10

  • Conductor

    Eva Ollikainen

  • Soloist

    Stephen Hough

This is world-renowned pianist Stephen Hough's second performance of the season with the ISO, to be followed in April by their tour of Great Britain. Among other accomplishments, Hough has recorded all of Sergei Rachmaninoff's piano concertos, and on this programme he plays the emotional and poetic Piano Concerto no. 2.

In 1900, Rachmaninoff was a broken man following the disastrous premiere of his Symphony no. 1, which was subsequently lambasted by critics. He fell into a deep depression, lost all of his confidence, and was unable to write as much as a note. But with an unconventional mixture of hypnosis and supportive therapy, his countryman, physician Nikolai Dahl, managed to restore Rachmaninoff's courage and confidence, after which the composer wrote Piano Concerto no. 2. The concerto, which is dedicated to Dahl, was a roaring success and now ranks among the most beloved piano concerti of all time.

In the book Testimony (1979), Dmitri Shostakovich said his Symphony no. 10 was “about Stalin and the Stalin years.” The authenticity of the book has been disputed, but many listeners have been convinced that they hear references to the dictator in the music, which ranges from the introspective and retiring to the sarcastic, even to full-blown hatred. The composer uses his own name in the piece in a memorable way with a DSCH motif (the tone Es, or E-flat, representing the S), which is heard in the third movement and again at the very end of the symphony.