Lyadov, Rachmaninoff etc. at the Mariinsky 6-5-12

Last night a second concert, this time the Mariinsky Theater Symphony under Valery Gergiev. This was bigger and more familiar music – most of it, anyhow. The program began with Anatoly Lyadov’s Kikimora, which was a great deal of fun and ended with Bartok’s suite from The Miraculous Mandarin. I love Bartok, and I enjoyed this thoroughly.

We also got Rachmaninoff’s third piano concerto (Nikolai Lugansky, piano) which — well, I’m not sure whether it was the accoustic in the hall or the performance itself, but it sounded murky. I felt as if I were listening with my head underwater. I thought it might be where our seats were, further up than last time and in a slightly different area, but I didn’t get this same feeling with the other pieces. It was exciting, particularly the last movement, but again – the sound was strange.

THe least familiar item on the program for me and I suspect for a lot of other people too was Sofia Gubaidulina’s concerto for bayan (accordion) and orchestra. The soloist was Geir Draugsvoll. This is a piece that I think I would have to hear again before I could say anything coherent about it – the sound was neat, and the orchestra (pared down to a much smaller ensemble than for the rest of the program) and the solo part interacted in ways that held my interest, but the music and the style were unfamiliar enough that again – I’m still sort of sorting this one out, mentally.