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Shani conducts Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet

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Southbank Centre: Royal Festival HallBelvedere Road, Londres, Greater London, SE1 8XX, Royaume-uni
Le jeudi 13 février 2020 at 19:30

£58 (premium); £45; £36; £28; £19; £12

“Talent borrows, genius steals”, as the saying goes - in this concert Prokofiev and Rachmaninov steal from Shakespeare and Paganini to create enduring classics of their own.


Kirill Gerstein, hailed for his “expressive brilliance” (The Guardian), is the soloist in Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, premiered by Rachmaninov himself in 1934. Paganini’s Caprices, written over a century earlier, were dedicated “to all artists” - aptly so, as they inspired arrangements by composers from Schumann and Liszt to Benny Goodman. Rachmaninov’s Variations, alternately sparkling and thoughtful, moody and full of fun, are now better-known than Paganini’s original. The romantic 18th variation is particularly popular - Rachmaninov knowingly declared “this one is for my agent”.

Prokofiev’s ballet music for Romeo and Juliet, composed in 1935, contains so much great music that he created not one but three orchestral suites from it. Here Lahav Shani chooses his favourite moments, from the threatening tread of ‘The Montagues and the Capulets’ to the heart-wrenching scene of Juliet’s death.

The overture to Prokofiev’s opera War and Peace, composed in 1942 following the German invasion of Russia, opens as you might expect with military brass and snare drum. But gentler woodwind melodies allude to the love stories in Tolstoy’s great novel.

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