Sergei Rachmaninoff - 2nd Piano Concerto - Ulster Orchestra
Olari Elts - Conductor
Barry Douglas - Piano
Patrick Brennan - Cycling
Rachmaninov - Piano Concerto No.2
Stravinsky - Petrushka
Often described as one of the best piano concertos ever written. A masterpiece of melodic writing and a sublime partnership between soloist and orchestra, it’s no surprise that it is a regular choice for castaways on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs and not only will you remember that glorious second movement from the film Brief Encounter (amongst others), it was also pinched by songwriter Eric Carmen for his 1975 smash hit, All By Myself.
Ulster Orchestra are delighted that Northern Ireland’s own virtuoso pianist, Barry Douglas, will perform it with the Orchestra. “Douglas played purely Rachmaninoff….The audience went crazy when it was over.” (Theatre Jones) Stravinsky’s Petrushka took on a traditional Russian folk tale (the Russian Petrushka is a puppet much like the Italian Pinocchio or British Punch) for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and used all of the composer’s hallmark traits, such as repeating rhythms and melodies, bursts of bright harmony and traditional folk tunes, to create a work brim-full of atmosphere.
As for the story, it’s the classic tale: Puppet comes to life, Puppet loves Ballerina, Ballerina loves Moor, a duel ensues – will Petrushka win the day…?