S. Rachmaninov. Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp minor, op. 1
D. Shostakovich. Symphony No. 8 in C minor, op. 65
There is probably no concert hall in the world where one would not want to hear the poetic, profound piano sound produced by the world-famous virtuoso pianist Nikolay Lugansky. The talent of the boy, who was born into a family of scientists, stunned his parents when he was just five. Once, this boy who had not yet studied music, went to a neighbour's summer house, sat down at the piano and played L. van Beethoven's sonata from memory. The neighbour was composer and pianist Sergei Ipatov, and thus, naturally, the first piano lessons began very soon. "I seem to have been predestined to become a pianist," – Lugansky said. After winning laurels in prestigious competitions in 1988, 1990 and 1992, the 22-year-old N. Lugansky wondered for a long time whether to participate in the international Tchaikovsky Piano Competition: according to the musician, seconds that change lives require too many nerves. But in 1994 he finally made up his mind and won the competition. That was just the beginning.
Today, N. Lugansky is considered to be one of the most prominent interpreters of piano music in the world. He plays with the Russian National, Spanish National, Paris, Tokyo and many other famous symphony orchestras, performs recitals in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Champs Elysées in Paris and the Concert Halls in London. When asked if he enjoys what he does, Mr Lugansky replies: “Enjoyment is not the right word; I feel compelled to do it. I can’t even say exactly why. I may not be very original, but when I work with music, that music begins to sound in me, and I just have to express it. I have to make it so that people can hear it.” Tonight, N. Lugansky will perform Sergei Rachmaninov's (1873–1943) Piano Concerto No. 1. This work was written by the composer at the age of 18, and after 26 years he re-edited it: "The concert is still just as youthful and refreshing, and it has become much easier to play," – said the composer. The piece is indeed full of that playful character, which also unfolds in the passionate intensity of the music in subsequent works by S. Rachmaninov.
In the second part of the concert, the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra conducted by maestro Gintaras Rinkevičius will continue the cycle of symphonies by Dmitry Shostakovich (1906–1975) and perform Symphony No. 8. The Eighth Symphony is the culmination of the tragic line of D. Shostakovich's work. Here the nakedness of reality is ruthless, the emotions are heated to the limit, the tension of the music is truly enormous. "Symphony No. 8 expresses the dramatic, sometimes even tragic internal conflicts. But in general, it is optimistic and positive about life," – D. Shostakovich wrote in his comments about the symphony.