On Friday, 13 May (Kolarac, 7pm), the fans of the concert series For Megalomaniacs will learn that a Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert can resemble a marathonian endeavour. Ludwig van Beethoven’s complete five piano concertos will be played in one evening, with the pianist star Alexei Volodin, conductor Daniel Raiskin and the BPO musicians in the role of the long-distance musical runners.
“The Beethoven Marathon” will showcase the evolution of the ingenious composer’s style, from the tradition adopted from Mozart and Haydn to the creation of his idiosyncratic artistic poetics and the venture into Romanticism. Since achieving this feat at the Mariinsky Theatre at the invitation of Valery Gergiev in 2014, Alexei Volodin and Daniel Raiskin have tested their stamina on several occasions by taking on Beethoven’s piano concertos. To Volodin, the performance of all five concertos in one evening always bring the greatest thrill and delight that a pianist can experience:
“Despite the length and complexity of the concerto repertoire, which can rightfully be called a marathon, our goal is not to set some kind of a record, but quite the opposite – we are trying to be driven exclusively by artistic principles”, said Volodin, a proven long-distance performer, who also plays complete concertos of Sergei Prokofiev in addition to Beethoven’s. Volodin is well-known for his refined sense and brilliant technique, which is why he is regularly invited to appear with the world’s leading orchestras.
“The Beethoven Marathon” is legitimately included in the series For Megalomaniacs, intended for the kind of audience for whom even too much music is not enough. The set of piano concertos is heroically crowned by No 5 in E-flat major, which got its subtitle owing to its imperial character. The ‘long-distance’ concert poses a challenge for the soloist, conductor and orchestra musicians alike, but also for the audience, since it will last more than four hours! That is the reason why the start of the concert is scheduled at 7pm.