White Lilac's finale: life and destiny of a man

Alexander Sladkovsky and Denis Matsuev are awarded the Church orders

White Lilac's finale: life and destiny of a man Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

The international festival named after Sergei Rachmaninoff White Lilac finished on 7 June in the Saydashev State Great Concert Hall. Seemingly traditional concert, however, was full of surprises, from brought from Yaroslavl real bells to the speech of Metropolitan Feofan.

''There will be a museum in Senar''

Before the concert, it was held a traditional media scrum. To the question of the fate of Sergei Rachmaninoff's villa in Switzerland, Denis Matsuev replied that whatever the situation is, the piano of Rachmaninov, his archive will remain in Senar, it will be a kind of museum where everyone can come. There will be held concerts, master classes. ''Russia will take part in the fate of Senar,'' said Denis Matsuev. The pianist believes that a pilgrimage of Sergei Rachmaninoff's fans will begin to Senar.

As for the Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra, Denis Matsuev commented on this cooperation the following way: ''The most important thing is that we go on stage with my friend Maestro Sladkovsky, and each of the musicians of this orchestra is my friend. I have just performed in Israel with the orchestra and Zubin Mehta, it was felt that each musician wants to play you well. The same thing is with my friends from Kazan orchestra, with whom this season we have made a lot of victories, significant for the group, it was debuts in the top halls. The finish will be on 12 June on so-called Day of Russia in Geneva. The previous season was landmark for this group.''

''The orchestra that you lead, without a doubt, is one of the best not only in Russia but also in the world,'' the Metropolitan addressed to Maestro Sladkovsky

Eight bells

When the musicians took their places on stage, and the audience, who were even sitting in the gallery, took their seats, the presenter of the concert Yulian Makarov went on stage. He invited to the microphone — and it was a surprise for the audience — Metropolitan of Kazan and Tatarstan Feofan. The metropolitan came up on the stage accompanied by Alexander Sladkovsky.

Chief Conductor explained that in May he was invited to the anniversary of Metropolitan Feofan, but he couldn't come, but that day he wanted to congratulate Metropolitan of Kazan and Tatarstan with the seventieth birthday and presented him from the orchestra a collection of their records and a basket of flowers.

It was easily seen that Metropolitan Feofan was touched. ''You have given me not a present but a gift because it has allowed me to feel the beautiful. Your creativity, your talent, your depth and breadth of heart — they were able to create what you have created. The orchestra that you lead, without a doubt, is one of the best not only in Russia but also in the world,'' the metropolitan addressed to Maestro Sladkovsky.

According to him, Valery Gergiev told him about the Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra and its artistic director before when Metropolitan Feofan was appointed to the Kazan cathedra. ''Everywhere where you and your orchestra are, you bring serenity, grace and hope,'' said Metropolitan Feofan. He did a return nice gesture, saying that Alexander Sladkovsky and Denis Matsuev are awarded the orders of Our Lady of Kazan.

The concert began with the solemn overture by Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture. In this monumental, pathos composition dedicated to the victory in the war with the French, at the end there were sounded bells. They also sounded two days ago in the concert hall. Eight bells were founded in Yaroslavl, specially by the order of Maestro Sladkovsky.

By the way, the speech of Metropolitan Feofan, who for two years of the service in Tatarstan has become for the citizens of the republic of various creeds an authoritative shepherd, was completely organic and did not come in dissonance with the overture by Tchaikovsky that, as it is known, was first performed in 1882 at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Two days ago, in the concert hall the orchestra through Tchaikovsky's music showed the power and strength of Russia, emotionally expressing the idea of patriotism.

The Second Concerto for piano and orchestra by Sergei Rachmaninoff was the offering of the pianists to the great composer

''Bell ringing''

The concert was without intermission, the orchestra had to depart for a tour immediately after it. That is why, after Tchaikovsky's overture, Denis Matsuev came up on the stage. The Second Concerto for piano and orchestra by Sergei Rachmaninoff was the offering of the pianists to the great composer.

...Like a spring flood rushed down from the mountains, sweeping everything in its path. The Maestro as well as the soloist were living in music, it seemed that it was the best moments of their lives. Hope, freshness of perception, light sadness, replaced by plain joy of life – it is what was presented to the frozen hall. When it was over, Denis Matsuev had to encore three times.

The concert ended with a monumental canvas, complex and densely populated — Rachmaninov's The Bells, symphonic poem for chorus, soloists and orchestra. The literary basis of the work — the poem by Edgar Allan Poe translated by Balmont.

Sladkovsky interprets the symphonic poem as a story of human life from birth to death. He interprets as typical for him — from the point of view of a musician-romantic, that is, again, it is an open finale, the very ''abyss of space''. The eternity of the universe and the immortality of the soul.

Anyway, this interpretation just is in tune with the worldview of Sergei Rachmaninoff, whom White Lilac is devoted to.

By Tatyana Mamaeva. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov