Monday, 9 July 2012

Russians and Gergiev

Like painting, like ballet, music is a truly international art form. Put a page of music in front of a Chinese pianist, an American cellist or a European violinist, and music comes forth. So, truly international: but up to a point. Listening this evening to one of “my” repertoire works, Tchaikovsky's Pathétique Symphony, I had to admit that when played by Valery Gergiev and the Kirov Orchestra it sounded, well, more Russian than usual. The bass parts growled in a true Russian fashion. I loved it, even though I have umpteen Pathétiques played by all sorts of eminent orchestras and conductors.

So music is international. But when Russians play Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninov, when the French play Debussy or Ravel, when the British play Elgar, when the Czechs play Dvorak or Janacek, when the Italians play Verdi or Puccini … the music can often sound with a more authentic note. Anyway; when it comes to Tchaikovsky's or Rachmaninov's orchestral music, give me emotional Russians any day.

1 comment:

Lee said...

I don't like the RNO under Pletnev (even his piano playing too). Too cool. You can't categorize Russians as emotional.