Best known from David Lean’s 1945 film Brief Encounter, Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto is one of the most beloved works in the orchestral repertoire, a masterpiece of poignant nostalgia and glittering bravura, brimming over with unforgettable melodies.
It launches the Russian National Orchestra’s two concerts celebrating Russian music at this year’s Festival, under the conductor who founded the ensemble in 1990, Mikhail Pletnev. Soloist Nikolai Lugansky returns after last year’s spectacular recital with violinist Leonidas Kavakos, his fizzing technique and suave elegance an ideal match for the Concerto’s dazzling demands.
Pletnev concludes the concert with Glazunov’s opulent ballet score The Seasons, a lush evocation of the passing of the Russian year, with vivid depictions of frost, spring winds, ripening corn and falling autumn leaves.
‘Pletnev evokes music with the RNO which satisfies the appetite and leaves you breathless.’
Conducted by Mikhail Pletnev
Nikolai Lugansky Piano
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 2
Glazunov The Seasons