Mussorgsky Mondays – All Russian Night with the Charlotte Symphony


A quick aside from the talented Mr. Mussorgsky, as Charlotte Symphony brought us and all-Russian evening this weekend featuring some other greats from our brothers on the other side of the globe.

What an impressive night.

They started with a fantastic performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Easter Festival Overture, Op. 36 (for those keeping score, Scheherazade is Op. 35 and he wrote these simultaneously as far as I know). This one was actually my favorite of the evening as it was old school RK (no, not R. Kelly) and the moving parts in the middle really, well, move. When classical can make you tap your foot, that’s pretty awesome.

Next up was Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 which showed some impressive violin playing by the night’s soloist. I wasn’t as familiar with this piece, but I enjoyed watching this unique piece being performed.

The soloist for the Prokofiev piece is normally the first violinist of the symphony and in his soloist role of the evening came back out and played a beautiful true violin solo in honor of a member of the orchestra who had recently passed. Beautiful and moving, I’m not sure what this piece was, but it was a fitting musical epitaph.

Lastly, they performed Stravinsky’s ballet, Petrouchka. A bit modern for my tastes, but still quite enjoyable. Though this was first performed in 1911, it’s amazing to me to hear how different the composition is when compared to Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and others of the previous generation. I plan to continue to check out Stravinsky and his various works, but I don’t know if they’ll ever touch my heart the way Pictures at an Exhibition has.

And with that, I bid you all a happy Monday. By the way, in case you haven’t checked out a calendar, this coming weekend is Easter. Check out the Rimsky-Korsakov piece above this week, as it is the season, and let me know what you think.

About Darin Kennedy

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