Aspen Music Festival
From Santa Fe and Aspen to Auckland, Sydney and Melbourne, August sees Kirill Gerstein travel across the world to give eight concerts with three different orchestras in the space of three weeks. On 6 August, Kirill performs Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra under Fabien Gabel. He returns to the same piano concerto two weeks later when he joins the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis from 20-22 August. In between, he gives three performances of the composer’s ‘Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini’ with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under James Gaffigan (12, 14 and 15 August) as well as a solo recital featuring music by Bartók, Bach and Liszt at Sydney’s City Recital Hall (17 August)
In the midst of US performance this month at the Tanglewood Music Festival and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Kirill Gerstein gives the new Urtext edition of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, which he recently released with myrios classics, its German première on Sunday 12 July. Playing in Stuttgart with the Staatsorchester Stuttgart under Manfred Honeck, a second performance of the piece will take place on 13 July.
Classical CDs: Gerstein, Gaffigan do justice to Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 1
By Patrick Rucker
In Boston, 140 years ago this October, Hans von Bülow played the world premiere of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, a piece that within decades became the most popular concerto for piano ever written. Van Cliburn’s recording in 1958 was the first classical album to sell more than 1 million copies (it eventually topped out at more than 3 million.)
It has long been known that the concerto existed in three successive versions, and it is the last of these that we know so well today. But recently, scholars have come to the conclusion that this familiar version includes a number of changes made by editors after Tchaikovsky’s death and that the authentic score, containing the composer’s true intentions, is the second version of 1879. This is the version that the Russian American pianist Kirill Gerstein and American conductor James Gaffigan have recorded with the German Symphony Orchestra Berlin.
Following a performance of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” in Winterhur, Switzerland on 4 June, further performances for Kirill Gerstein this month include Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43 in Prague with the Czech Philharmonic and Jiří Bělohlávek on Wednesday 17 June; Liszt’s Transcendental Études at the Liszt Festival in Raiding, Austria on Thursday 18 June; Strauss’s Enoch Arden with Bruno Ganz as narrator in Iffeldorf, Germany on Sunday 21 June; and Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the St Petersburg Philharmonic under Mikhail Jurowski in St Petersburg, Russia on Thursday 25 June.