Music that’s vivid, colourful and wickedly funny. Two anti-heroes, a great violin concerto and a popular Australian composer.
In Richard Strauss’s Don Juan the notorious seducer is run through in a duel. The reckless and subversive folk hero Till Eulenspiegel meets his end on the gallows. And Strauss’s vivid and entertaining music paints perfect pictures of two anti-heroes for whom heaven was closed. The music of adopted Australian Elena Kats-Chernin (Eliza’s Aria, Russian Rag, The Divorce) is wryly humorous, sometimes manic, always playful. Heaven might be closed, but it’s still a blissful place with all the vividness of Russian fairy tale illustrations. From Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev comes one of the great violin concertos, and when Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili performed it in London in 2016, the Financial Times praised her “surprisingly delicate performance, memorable above all for the icy whisperings of the middle movement”.