About the program
Borodin: Polovtsian Dances
Polovtsian Dances is part of Borodin’s incomplete opera Prince Igor, it is in the finale of the third act. Borodin started to compose this piece on his own libretto in 1869, however, after his death it had to be finished and edited by Rimsky-Korsakow and Glazunov. The suite as a stand-alone orchestra piece is an extremely popular composition in concert venues.
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3
Prokofiev’s third piano concerto was completed in 1921. The piece matured over many years. The composer put the theme in one of the episodes of the first movement down on paper in 1911, while the second movement is based on a theme and its variations which he put on paper in 1913. Part of the first movement dates back to 1916-17, and the finale was composed in 1921, making use of the material of a string quartet, which remained incomplete. The premiere in 1921 in Chicago was conducted by Frederick Stock. The piano part was played by the composer himself.
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6
“Music is not an empty play with sounds, it should always have a programme at a higher level of interpretation,” wrote Tchaikovsky to Nadeshda von Meck in a letter dated 1878, in which he shared the secret programme of the fourth symphony with his patron. He did the same with the fifth symphony. On the other hand, on the sixth symphony originally entitled Programme Symphony, he wrote to his nephew: “the programme should remain an enigma to all, they should be racking their brains trying to figure it out”. “The programme is fully subjective”- he writes another time to Madam von Meck. His last symphony is a worthy swan song, the composer died a few weeks after the premiere in 1893.
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