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James Gaffigan & 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

James Gaffigan, Conductor

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks

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.

Unfortunately, due to a small but necessary surgical intervention, Franz Welser-Möst had to cancel his participation in our concerts on  October 27th. However, we are pleased and grateful that we were able to win James Gaffigan as conductor, who will take over the program unchanged.

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