Programme & Tickets

Wednesday, 13. May 2020, 19:30
Hotel Schweizerhof, Zeugheersaal

Opening Concert: Tchaikovsky and the French

Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Serenade for Strings in C major, Op. 48 (1880)

Darius Milhaud (1892 – 1974)
Les Soirées de Pétrograde, Op. 55 (1919)

Pauline Viardot (1821 – 1910)
From Twelve Songs on Russian Texts of Fet, Pushkin, Turgenev, Lermontov and Koltsov
“Le Rameau de Palestine” VWV 1065 (text by Mikhail Lermontov, 1863)
“Aurore” VWV 1040 (text by Afanasy Fet, 1862/63)

Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Six French Songs, Op. 65, dedicated to Désirée Artôt (1888)

In this programme the international opera star Ekaterina Semenchuk weaves a fascinating web of Franco-Russian connections. We have a rare opportunity to hear some songs by Pauline Viardot, a celebrated prima donna, the hostess of one of Europe’s most famous salons, and also the muse of Ivan Turgenev, the great Russian novelist. Her student Desirée Artôt also became an opera star and won the heart of Tchaikovsky, who was briefly engaged to her and wrote French songs for her twenty years later. We also visit a later Paris salon of 1919, where the maverick French composer Darius Milhaud presented his ironic vision the tragic events of the Russian revolution, which he took rather too lightheartedly for his Russian émigré friends. Tchaikovsky’s gorgeous Serenade for Strings is a homage to Europe’s musical past, ranging from Lully to Mozart, and he even slips in a normally raucous Russian dance tune, which he renders genteel to match the surroundings.

Dinner: 17.30
Before the concert the Hotel Schweizerhof offers an exclusive two-course meal.
CHF 65 (excl. drinks)

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