Russian-trained conductor Brian Schembri (graduate of the Kiev and Moscow “Tchaikowsky” State Conservatories) conducts a programme of works by Mussorgsky (Night on a Bare Mountain), Rachmaninov (Piano Concerto No.4 in G minor op.40) and Tchaikovsky (Symphony no 4 in F minor op. 36). Mussorgsky’s Night on a Bare Mountain (or St. John’s Night on a Bare Mountain, to give it its full title) is Mussorgsky’s best-known orchestral work and is in a single movement. It dates from 1867 and the Night in question is presumably that of the 23rd-24th June, feast of the birth of St. John the Baptist.
Of the four concertos Rachmaninov wrote for piano, No.4 is the least performed but equally sublime, with lush melodies and passionate interchanges between orchestra and soloist. Maltese pianist Charlene Farrugia features as the soloist in this concerto, a Masters graduate from the Royal Academy of Music in London, and first prize winner of 10 national and international piano competitions. Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony was the first major work he wrote after his turbulent six week marriage to Antonina Milyukova which led to his nervous break-down and attempted suicide in the icy waters of the Moskva. Unsurprisingly the Symphony deals with tragedy and despair although the four movements are diverse with a triumphant conclusion which sweeps tragedy away.
The concert, on Friday 1st March, starts at 8pm with a pre-concert talk for ticket holders at 7.15pm. Tickets start from €5 and can be purchased at www.teatrumanoel.com.mt by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 2124 6389.