Glinka, Prokofiev, Dvořák
My second concert of the day in the Musikverein featured the Tonkünstler-Orchester under Mikhail Jurowski.
The concert opened with Glinka‘s Overture to Ruslan and Lyudmila, followed by Prokofiev‘s Second Piano Concerto, with Alexander Markovich, an obese Russian-born Israeli as soloist (because of his stomach, he can’t actually sit near the piano; fortunately his arms reach). I did not know this concerto at all – never heard it before – and I dislike pianos generally. But this was a find. The piece is truly bizarre. Markovich is a very charismatic performer with a twinkle in his eye. I have no idea how the orchestra could manage staying together given the way the music jumps about, but Jurowski kept everything working. Really a stunning performance, and they all (soloist, conductor, orchestra) deserved the thunderous applause.
After the intermission came a very good Dvořák 8th Symphony. The Tonkünstler (which seemed enthusiastic and happy to be on stage) actually sounded better than the last two Symphoniker concerts I attened, which made me wonder even more what is going on with the Symphoniker right now.