Exhilarating music from two Russian masters and the Australian premiere of a new American classic violin concerto.
The “monstrously talented” Benjamin Beilman makes his SSO debut in Jennifer Higdon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Violin Concerto. Winning ovations from the first, it’s a showpiece in the classic Romantic style, tapping into the lyricism of Samuel Barber, the pastoral mood of Vaughan Williams and the energy of Prokofiev. This rhapsodic music will highlight Beilman’s “dark chocolate sound” and a compelling technique that’s more than up to the challenge of Higdon’s finale (think Flight of the Bumble Bee on steroids).
The program begins with Rimsky-Korsakov’s childhood memories of a Russian Orthodox Easter, beginning in deep mystery before launching into unbridled merrymaking – “festival” is the operative word. And Mussorgsky’s vivid musical pictures, brought to life in Ravel’s colourful orchestrations, will take you on a promenade through an imaginary art gallery, arriving at the dramatic finale with the Great Gate of Kiev.
‘‘Beilman is definitely one to watch out for: technically adept young players are legion, but artistic maturity of this calibre at such an early age is much rarer.’’
David Larkin, bachtrack.com (Sydney, 2013)