Franz Welser-Möst & Igor Levit

Saturday, 27 October 2018, 8.00 pm
Cologne, Philharmonie


Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concerto No. 5 E-flat major, op. 73


Sergej Prokofjew
Symphony No. 3 in C minor, op. 44

Franz Welser-Möst, Conductor

Igor Levit, Piano

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks

Born in the Austrian town of Linz, Franz Welser-Möst has been the principal conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra and a seminal opera conductor at the Salzburg Festival for more than 20 years. He is also a regular guest with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. This Austrian maestro has a fondness for programmes that combine mainstream works with the avant-garde. Although Sergei Prokofiev’s rarely played Third Symphony originated in Paris as far back as 1928, this thrilling piece still sounds radical today. No wonder, for it develops themes and motifs from Prokofiev’s diabolical opera of the Middle Ages, “The Fiery Angel”, which deals with witchcraft, exorcism and the Inquisition. With its searing orchestration and obsessive rhythms, the symphony unleashes an irresistible magnetic force. The first part of the concert will reunite listeners with the Russo-German pianist Igor Levit, one of the few members of his trade who responds forcefully to current issues and socio-political topics, not only on Twitter. Levit, who has acquired a reputation as an outstanding Beethoven pianist, will play the magnificent “Emperor” Concerto with the Bavarian RSO, having already treated Munich listeners to the Third Concerto in 2015. With its heroic pathos and heavenly poetry, it forms a not unfitting companion to Prokofiev’s expressive fury.

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