Rakhmaninov. Chaikovsky. Francesca da Rimini

  • Concert
  • Classical music
Hermitage Theater / Main hall
Address: Russia, Saint-Petersburg, Dvortsovaya emb., 34

Duration: 02:00
Intermission: 1

“Rachmaninov. Chaikovsky. Francesca da Rimini"

The grandiose poetic work of Dante Alighieri, created at the beginning of the 14th century, “Comedy”, which Giovanni Boccaccio later called “Divine”, is one of the greatest works of world fiction.

The plots of the “Divine Comedy”, consisting of three parts - “Hell”, “Purgatory” and “Paradise” - have been repeatedly reflected in various types of art. Particularly attractive was the touching love story of Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta, doomed to suffering, whose souls rushed in a hurricane in one of the circles of hell.

In 1876, Tchaikovsky was in search of a composition that could become the literary basis of his new opera. Having become acquainted with the libretto, written based on the “Divine Comedy,” the shocked composer abandoned the original plan and decided to create an orchestral work. The symphonic fantasy “Francesca da Rimini” was first performed in 1877 in Moscow and then in St. Petersburg and delighted the audience. Tchaikovsky was pleased with this score, which happened extremely rarely, in which the story of forbidden love seemed to be told by Francesca herself:

...There is no torment more terrible than that

How to remember moments of bliss

In the hour of torture, painful, evil.

The premiere of Rachmaninov's opera Francesca da Rimini took place at the Bolshoi Theater in 1906 under the direction of the author. The libretto of the one-act opera, which did not quite satisfy the composer, who wanted to get as close as possible to Dante's poems, was written by Tchaikovsky's younger brother, Modest.

Of course, Rachmaninov knew and was impressed by the symphonic fantasy of Tchaikovsky, whom he idolized and always remembered with special warmth. However, Rachmaninov's opera is an absolutely self-sufficient work, in which the orchestra, rather than the vocal parts, sometimes plays the leading role. Musicologist Boris Asafiev believed: “By painting Francesca in light colors, Rachmaninov is closer to her ideal appearance of a young Italian woman, but by painting Francesca in the darkness of hell, like a shadow remembering the past, Tchaikovsky turns out to be stronger in terms of expressiveness and relief... ".

Rachmaninov. Chaikovsky. Francesca da Rimini

I department

P. Tchaikovsky.

Symphonic fantasy after Dante “Francesca da Rimini” (1876), op. 32

II department

S. Rachmaninov

Opera “Francesca da Rimini” (1904-05), op. 25

Symphony Orchestra of St. Petersburg

artistic director and chief conductor

People's Artist of Russia Sergei Stadler

Director – Irina Fokina

Soloists of the St. Petersburg Concert

Ensemble of soloists "Christmas"

Artistic director – Honored Artist of Russia Olga Stupneva

Ensemble "Barynya"

Director – Honored Artist of Russia Tatyana Timokhina

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