SOSL concert of romantic masterworks
The Romantic Masterworks Concert by the Symphony Orchestra of Sri
Lanka will be at the Ladies College Hall on May 23 at 7pm. The conductor
is Ananda Dabare, noted for his insightful and passionate interpretation
of the works of the Russian masters.
The programme includes the Sri Lanka premiere of Tchaikovsky’s
dramatic and superbly melodious Symphony No.4. Music lovers will also
enjoy two enchanting excerpts from Grieg’s ever popular Peer Gynt
Suites, and Rachmaninov’s richly lyrical first Piano Concerto.
Tchaikovsky is one of the most popular of all composers for audiences
everywhere. His symphonies have been cornerstones of the orchestral
repertoire for over a century. Their potent emotional charge, soaring
melodies, superb orchestration and inspired tone painting appeal
directly to the heart.
The Symphony No. 4 of 1877-78 was considered by Tchaikovsky to be his
best symphony to that date and was composed when he had reached the
height of his powers. He had just completed his first great opera Eugene
Onegin, following on with his great balletic masterpiece Swan Lake. Of
the Symphony he said, “ I adore terribly this child of mine.’
Edvard Grieg is Norway’s most celebrated composer and the country’s
acknowledged musical voice. His world-wide recognition is due to his
gifts of melody and impressionistic sound painting, and his creation of
works of great atmosphere, poetry and passion. Peer Gynt is a five-act
play in verse about the adventures of the legendary hero, for which
Grieg was asked by Ibsen in 1874 to compose incidental music. Its first
staging two years later made Grieg a national figure. The enchanting
excerpts, Morning and In the Hall of the Mountain King, are the most
popular of all.
Sergei Rachmaninov’s richly chromatic, broadly lyrical and
unashamedly nostalgic style has ensured his music’s popularity among
audiences. The Piano Concerto No. 1 in F Sharp minor was his first major
work, completed in 1890 when he was 18.
He performed the opening movement at the Moscow Conservatory three
days before his nineteenth birthday. Finding it unsatisfactory as he
matured, he subsequently revised it thoroughly in 1917 by when he had
written both his Second and Third Piano Concertos and acquired a good
deal of conducting experience. He proudly premiered the current version
in 1919 - saying it still retained its ‘youthful freshness’. Some of his
inspiration for the Concerto came from Grieg.
This is Rachmaninov’s only concert to begin with a flourish – a
cascade of descending octaves and chords like the beginning of Grieg’s
Piano Concerto which he admired. The slow movement is
quasi-impressionistic and features chromatic writing of exceptional
beauty. Whilst the finale is launched with a bang and the pianist
competing with the orchestra in great leaps of joy.
The soloist in the Concerto will be the well known Sri Lankan pianist
resident in the USA, Harsha Abeyaratne. Harsha is Pianist and Associate
Professor of Music at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio, and has
an active career as a soloist, accompanist, chamber musician and
The Box Office is open at Titus Stores, Liberty Plaza.