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Flying high

Oct. 29, 2019
8 p.m.
Kölner Philharmonie

Sergej Prokofjew

Symphony no. 1 D major »Classical Symphony« (1916/17)

Alexander Skrjabin

Piano concerto F sharp minor (1896/97)

Alexander Skrjabin

Symphony no. 2 C minor (1901)

Every composer dreams of one day becoming a classic. With the exception, perhaps, of Alexander Scriabin, who viewed the external world as the result of his creative and spiritual practice. “After Scriabin, Wagner lisps sweetly like a suckling babe”, quipped the conductor of the premiere of the Second Symphony, in which Scriabin outdid his apotheosis Richard Wagner in his choice of means of expression – and at the same time paid tribute to him in sound in the Finale. His music’s romantic legacy comes even more clearly to the fore in the piano concerto: it is characterised by lyrical themes and effusive gestures, less triumphant than enchanting and fervent, while at the same time pianistically brilliant. Gerhard Oppitz visited Scriabin’s house on his first trip to Moscow in 1974: “I played on his grand piano, and his granddaughter took the handwritten musical score out of the safe for me – those were unforgettable experiences.” Like Scriabin, Sergei Prokofiev also began his career as a pianist and composer. With his first Symphony, Prokofiev assumed the costume of a classical composer oriented towards Haydn and Mozart – and had the courage to call his work “classical”. He was his own classical composer. Dmitrij Kitajenko, honorary conductor, will conduct the concert.

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