Rachmaninov – Piano Concerto No. 3 (38’)
Holst – The Planets (49’)
Hard to imagine a bolder ambition for a composer than to try and capture the astrological galaxy in a single piece of music – but that, around a century ago, is what Gustav Holst attempted to do in The Planets. Its seven movements each inspired by a planet in our Solar System (the missing one is Earth), it’s as vast and magnificent a work as its subject matter demands – and it’s at its most vivid and exhilarating in the concert hall, where it’s been pleasing crowds for exactly 100 years.
It’s preceded by a work of similar intensity and immensity: Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto, a hugely demanding piece that few soloists ever master. Alexander Gavrylyuk, though, tamed this beast of a concerto to great acclaim at last year’s BBC Proms, and will be in the spotlight this evening under the direction of conductor Vassily Sinaisky.
Alexander Gavrylyuk – piano
Manchester Chamber Choir (ladies)
Vassily Sinaisky – conductor