Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra
Claude Debussy Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
Modest Musorgskij Pictures at an Exhibition (arrangiament by Maurice Ravel)
Sergej Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances Op. 45
Rachmaninoff composed his last work, the Symphonic Dances, in 1940, many years after moving to the US, but the breath of Great Russia was still blowing in his music, punctuated with folklore undertones and sparkling notes. A similar breath was vibrating in Musorgsky’s masterpiece, whose expressive flame is best rendered by the Saint-Petersburg Orchestra, led by Valerij Gergiev for thirty years now: after all, the most authentic spirit of Russian music has found a perfect nest in the Marijnsky Theatre. This is the very spirit that the Russian diaspora radiated across the whole of Europe and especially France, where Ravel masterfully orchestrated Musorgsky’s Pictures projecting them into the future, and where Debussy infused his own Prélude with the vigour of inextinguishable youth.