Budapest Festival Orchestra
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Russian Easter Overture Op. 36. - In his Russian Easter Overture composed in 1888, Rimsky-Korsakov arranged Russian liturgical themes: the orchestral voices evoke the sombre choir litanies, then imitate the joyful Paschal song of popes in white priestly garments with their beards trembling and the sounds of jingling bells – Christian devotion and heathen glee alternate in this work.
Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 9 (E-flat major) - The composer considered his Symphony No. 9, created in 1945, a "joyful little piece". It resounds with the joy of victory in WWII and of the end of the war. Its premiere which took place in 1945 was conducted by Yevgeny Mravinsky in Leningrad.
Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1 (D major) - The moods of this early violin concerto reveal little about the date and place of its composition: in 1917 the composer left the revolutionary St. Petersburg and went to the countryside, even taking a cruise. From the first violin concerto, which is reminiscent of romantic concertos, we hear the sounds of the unbridled and untouched River Kama. The premiere was in 1923 in Paris. The soloist was eighteen-year-old Marcel Darrieux.
R. Strauss: The Knight of the Rose – Suite - With this opera premiered in 1911, Richard Strauss enjoyed one of the greatest opera successes in his life. Strauss, who was a genius composer and conductor, was also business-minded and he knew exactly how he had to "recycle" the catchy tunes of his huge success: he handpicked some melodies from his opera, revised and instrumented them for a smaller orchestra; the result is a six-movement orchestral suite composed of some of the exceptionally popular parts of the opera.