The programme includes:
Dawn on the Moskva River
(orchestrated by Dmitry Shostakovich
A White Night’s Dream (Russian premiere). Dedicated to Modest Musorgsky
La Barque solaire
Night on Bald Mountain
Le Temps l’horloge
Songs and Dances of Death, vocal cycle in four sections (orchestrated by Alexander Raskatov).
Alexander Raskatov’s three interludes Steady Time will be performed between the various sections of the cycle
Soloists: Thierry Escaich (organ), Yekaterina Goncharova (soprano), Sergei Semishkur (tenor)
Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Valery Gergiev
An interview with Thierry Escaich
You perform a lot of Bach it seems. Is it not dangerous to put contemporary music next to that of this great master?
Not at all. On the contrary, Bach provides the perfect balance between counterpoint, harmony and rhythm. Even his most complex fugue could sound like a dance while retaining the freshness of an improvisation. His music is a lesson in composition for all composers.
Why do you perform so often in St Petersburg?
I feel lucky to come regularly in the dual role of composer and organist. Maestro Valery Gergiev wanted me to participate in the inauguration of the organ two years ago... That was a great discovery!
What will you be listening to in particular when you take a seat in the hall together with the audience after your own performance?
Everything ! Musorgsky, as I do not really know Songs and Dances of Death, Dutilleux whose elegance and orchestral colour harmony are an example to the profession and, of course, Raskatov’s music which will conclude the programme. Moreover, I’ll definitely be in the hall before my performance...
What do you think of the Concert Hall?
It’s one of the most beautiful halls I have ever been in, in terms of design and acoustics. I had the opportunity to enjoy it last year listening to an opera. That time I was in the audience and not playing the organ.
What is your relation with Musorgsky’s music?
As a boy I loved playing Pictures at an Exhibition and I have plans to make my own transcription of that work for organ soon.
What can audiences expect from this concert?
It promises to be very colourful and rhythmic. The planning of the concert evening has been arranged very well. In a way, a concert programme is a kind of composition too, don’t you think?
What, if any, is your favourite football team?
No luck there. I’m a cyclist. Ask me what you want about the Tour de France. But football is an alien sport for me.