Olari Elts, conductor
Simone Lamsma, violin
Anatoly Lyadov: From the Apocalypse
Nikolai Roslavets: Violin Concerto No. 1
Justė Janulytė: Apnea
Igor Stravinsky: Petrushka (1947)
Destroy, erase, eliminate, forget. There are many such words in the biography of composer Nikolai Roslavets. For decades, the Soviet system tried to erase him and his works from card indexes, catalogues, archives, and concert repertoires – almost with success. The score of his first violin concerto was for a long time thought to have been lost, but it was eventually found in the Moscow archives in 1989. Violinist Simone Lamsma learned the concerto in ten days after receiving an unexpected invitation to perform. Her dedication paid off, and Roslavets’ concert has since remained in Lamsma’s repertoire.
Three puppet characters – Petrushka, Moor and Ballerina – have an adventure in Stravinsky’s trilogy, for which the composer collected material from street performances and folk tunes. The version for a giant orchestra, which premiered in Russia in 1913, received a chilling review from Stravinsky’s friend Andrei Rimsky-Korsakov, who thought the work foreshadowed the emergence of musical futurism: “Petrushka glitters with an artificial assortment of bright rags and patches and clatters with ringing rattles.” The reference to the collage technique – albeit in a negative tone – was apt: at the same time, artists such as Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque were using newspaper cuttings as material for their paintings.