Russian piano virtuoso Nikolai Lugansky all but stopped traffic with his autumn 2016 performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto no. 3, which was also Yan Pascal Tortelier’s first performance as Chief Conductor of the Iceland Symphony. Now Lugansky is back, with the ever-popular concerto of Edvard Grieg, which combines the nuances of Norwegian folk songs and the conventions of German Romanticism into a single large-form work. The concerto immediately became one of the most popular works of the genre. When Franz Liszt had performed the work in the composer’s presence in 1870, he is said to have exclaimed: “You carry on, my friend; you have the real stuff in you. And don’t ever let them frighten you!”
The other works on the programme are bursting with tension. The dramatic overture to Verdi’s opera La forza del destino sets the stage for the tragedy to come: the lovers Alvaro and Leonora are forbidden to marry because of their parents’ opposition to the match. Romeo and Juliet are in much the same situation, and Prokofiev’s music combines all of the nuances of love in highly effective way. The Iceland Symphony Orchestra’s Chief Conductor, Yan Pascal Tortelier, has conducted Prokofiev’s ballet suites all over the world to vociferous acclaim, and it will be exciting to experience his interpretation of this electrifying work.
Pre-concert presentation in Hörpuhornið » 9 May 18:00
Giuseppe Verdi La forza del destino, overture
Edvard Grieg Piano Concerto
Sergei Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet, ballet suites
Yan Pascal Tortelier