On 29 and 30 November Dmitrij Kitajenko will conduct the Dresden Philharmonic at Dresden’s Kulturpalast in Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony, Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto with Sergej Krylov as soloist, and excerpts from Aram Khachaturian’s Ballet Spartacus.

With Manfred, Tchaikovsky created an outstanding example of the programme symphony, in which a narrative programme is fused with abstract symphonic forms. The classical magazine Pizzicato wrote about Dmitrij Kitajenko’s recording for OehmsClassics: “The first movement expresses Manfred’s desolate state of mind in a breath-taking way: the orchestra’s playing is strikingly dark, sluggish, dull and gains energy when the music rushes in passionate sighs. So much gloomy hopelessness, so much lento lugubre has probably rarely been heard here.

In the two middle movements Kitajenko works with wonderful nuances, but he doesn’t want any glamour, nothing positive, and even above the alpine nature scenes there is always a touch of sadness or at least melancholy.

The final movement is passionately agitated and by no means an orchestral showpiece. And again you get goose bumps because of all the tragedy that affects the listener. Even the organ avoids any glamour and is reduced to harmonium effect, as prescribed by Tchaikovsky. Only in the final bars can you feel that Manfred will be forgiven, that death has freed him from his torments.”

Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto is one of the last works the composer wrote before his return to the Soviet Union. Compared to his previous pieces, it shows a tendency towards greater simplicity and clarity of expression and form.  Khachaturian’s full-length ballet Spartacus was praised by Shostakovich as a work of the highest persuasiveness and emotion.