Review: The most perfect music ever written played with such power that the piano spoke to us Moscow Philharmonic with Freddy Kempf at Cambridge Corn Exchange

PUBLISHED: 10:57 14 May 2017 | UPDATED: 10:57 14 May 2017

Freddy Kempf

Freddy Kempf

Archant

Possibly the most perfect music ever written, Rachmaninoff’s Second Concerto was played by Freddy Kempf with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra with such power that the piano spoke to us.

It told us the story of love’s euphoria and despair and how it mixes up all the emotions at once. It’s a terrible way to live, but creates such wonderful music.

I often feel sorry that Shakespeare didn’t live long enough to hear Tchaikovsky whose work he inspired. But Noel Coward was born at the right time to insist that Rachmaninov’s Second was the only music to be used for the film Brief Encounter.

Hearing the piece, played flawlessly by 110 musicians on stage, including some 35 on strings, you understand completely why. It’s so evocative, you almost don’t need the script. It was so beautiful it made me cry.

The evening began with Shostakovich’s Festive Overture, composed to open a concert celebrating the 37th anniversary of the Russian Revolution in 1917. Played as we approach the 100th anniversary, it is a triumphant piece, not marking highs and lows just highs and highs.

The third piece on the programme, Musorgsky’s Pictures from an Exhibition tells stories from the paintings, scenes from old Poland, including children quarrelling, two Jews meeting, one rich, one poor, the market plafe in Limoges, a Roman tomb, the Great Gate of Kiev. You heard grand sounds produced by the horns, blasts of triumph, church bells ringing, the clatter of the market place, the pomp of time and place.

A packed Cambridge Corn Exchange was both swept away and held enraptured. Conductor Yuri Botnari gave us two encores. They played the first piece, a delightfully sweet piece for strings. Then he looked at his watch and nodded at the orchestra as if to say: yes there is time to give them another one. Then they played music from Swan Lake. It was like a superb cook who has already given you a wonderful dinner, bringing out your favourite pudding, say a trifle with a lot of fruit, fresh custard and six feet of cream, and placing it in front of you, not because you haven’t been perfectly delighted already but just because they know it will give you pleasure - and giving pleasure is the most pleasure they know. Sheer beneficence.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Royston Crow visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Royston Crow staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Royston Crow account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

15:31

A school governor instrumental in introducing Mandarin as part of the curriculum at Melbourn Village College has spoken of her delight receiving an OBE for services to education.

09:50

A charity supporting bereaved parents in Cambs is branching out to invite members of the surrounding communities, who have also been affected by the death of a baby, to attend a new support group.

Yesterday, 12:44

The team at North Hertfordshire Museum are celebrating after they won £60,000 of grant funding that will ensure Roman treasures stay in the district.

Yesterday, 08:52

The A505 has reopened between Royston and Baldock – two hours after it was closed due to a crash.

”North

Most read stories

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Royston Crow e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter