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Shchedrin Concerto for Orchestra, Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1
In an explosive return to Verbier, the Festival launches with Shchedrin’s vivacious and playful 'Naughty Limericks', performed by the Verbier Festival Orchestra under the baton of its Music Director Valery Gergiev. Pianist Denis Matsuev performs Tchaikovsky’s poetic First Piano Concerto.

Concerto for Orchestra No. 1 ‘Naughty Limericks’

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor Op. 23

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Shchedrin’s exuberant ‘Naughty Limericks’ Concerto for Orchestra of 1963 is a virtuosic orchestral showpiece drawing on the chastushka, Russian folk music’s often-politics-themed answer to the limerick. As evocative of peasant merrymaking as Stravinsky’s Petrushka, but with a darker edge, it offers a madcap-speed walking jazz bass as one of its first sounds, before a constant stream of witty repartee between instruments simulating the verses’ rhyming couplets. Some off its best comedy, though, comes from surprise. Folk music also informed the glittering Rondo-form finale to Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto of 1875, although the overall impression is one of romance, whether in big-boned moments such as those famous opening piano chords, or the lighter scored and sublimely poetic central movement.


with the generous support of

Madame Aline Foriel-Destezet
TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor Op. 23 | VFO / Dutoit - Argerich (Salle des Combins, 2014)