Dmitri Shostakovich. Symphony No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 10
Richard Strauss. Vier letzte Lieder for soprano and orchestra
Richard Wagner. Prelude and Isolde's Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde
Asmik Grigorian is one of the best-loved artists in Lithuania and ranks among top opera singers worldwide. The next morning after her performance in the new production of Strauss's Salome at the Salzburg Festival 2018, the world celebrated the birth of a new star in the opera sky. Some who attended the premiere say that when Asmik stepped forward to take her bow the applause was deafening and lasted for ten minutes while the acclaimed Italian stage director Romeo Castellucci kneeled down before the Lithuanian soprano after entering the stage at the end of the opening night. "She's just amazingly awesome: her Salome is all presence. Her bright, radiant voice slices tirelessly through the Straussian orchestral excesses and yet achieves an enticingly light piano in the softer moments. Vehement demand for Jochanaan's head sung in her full and rich lower register makes your hair stand on end. A slight figure in a white dress smeared with bright red on the almost empty golden floor, she reigns over the stage with her gestures, glances and breathtaking voice power“ – BR Klassik
This autumn Asmik Grigorian will shine with her talent and charisma in Vilnius. Partnered by the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, the soloist will perform Richard Strauss's (1864–1949) Vier letzte Lieder under the baton of the orchestra's artistic director and principal conductor, Gintaras Rinkevičius. Finished in the year before the composer's death, the opus consists of four songs for soprano and orchestra, "Frühling" (Spring), "September", "Beim Schlafengehen" (When Falling Asleep) and "Im Abendrot" (At Sunset), to the texts by Hermann Hesse and Joseph von Eichendorff. All of the songs, except for "Frühling" are about death, but at the same time emanate serenity, reconciliation and a sense of wholeness. Strauss's work will be followed by Isolde's Liebestod from the renowned opera by Richard Wagner (1813–83), Tristan und Isolde, acknowledged as one of the peaks of the operatic repertoire.
In the second part of the concert, the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra conducted by maestro Gintaras Rinkevičius will launch a cycle of fifteen symphonies by one of the greatest 20th-century composers, Dmitry Shostakovich (1906–75). The audiences will be introduced to the First Symphony in F Minor, Op. 10, written by the composer as his graduation piece at the Petrograd Conservatory when he was just 19 years old. The First Symphony displays an interesting and characteristic combination of liveliness and wit on the one hand, and drama and tragedy on the other. A tremendous success from its premiere, it is still considered today as one of Shostakovich's finest works.