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A specialist of Russian classical music and frequent guest of the Verbier Festival, Yuri Temirkanov leads the Verbier Festival Orchestra once more in a concert that couldn’t have been more suited to his talents: a program of music by Liadov, Rachmaninov, and Tchaikovsky. A former assistant to Evgeny Mravinsky, he has been the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra’s artistic director for over two decades.
The concert opens with Liadov’s symphonic work Kikimora, named for the mythic slave of the same name. The mysterious work lives up to its subtitle of “fantastic” (given by the composer himself), with an intriguing instrumentation that includes xylophone and celesta.
Next Yuja Wang joins Temirkanov and the orchestra for a performance of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2, a work she recorded with Claudio Abbado. Her beautiful interpretation highlights the work’s rich and contrasting themes.
The concert closes with extracts from a work Temirkanov has conducted on multiple occasions and even recorded: one of the most popular works of classical music, Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake.