On 18 and 19 January in Ludwigshafen, Dimitri Kitaenko will conduct the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz in a French Russian program.
When in the 1920s, Europe was seized by the jazz fever, the French composer Darius Milhaud studied the jazz on the spot, in the ghettos of Harlem, and discovered the roots of this music in Latin America and on the Antilles. Back in France he included his impressions in his ballet La Création du monde, a jungle and primeval world fantasy inspired by African myths.
“The orchestra with 18 solo instruments corresponded to the bands which I had heard in Harlem”, Milhaud wrote in his autobiography. The premiere took place in October, 1923 at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and created a big scandal. Critics called the piece frivolous and said it was suitable rather for the music-hall than for the concert hall. Time proved they were wrong, and above all the suite from the ballet is often played.
The Russian violinist Sergei Malov will be the soloist in Sergei Prokofiev’s First Violin Concerto, a shimmering work of devilish diabolic. Malov is an exceptionally gifted artist who constantly plays the violin, the viola and also the violoncello da spalla, which is not played between the knees, but before the chest.
The concerts end with Shostakovich’s Fifth symphony, a composition which shows on one hand how the composer tried to adapt his music with the official line, on the other hand, however, the inside drama of this musician outlawed by Stalin’s regime.