Verbier Festival 25th Anniversary Gala"

What a concert!!!

Sergei Babayan | Pianist
Kristóf Baráti | Violinist
Lisa Batiashvili | Violinist
Renaud Capuçon | Violinist
Gérard Caussé | Violist
Alexandra Conunova | Violinist
Seong-Jin Cho | Pianis
Caroline Dowdle | Pianist
Vilde Frang | Violinist
Pamela Frank | Violinist
Martin Fröst | Clarinetist
Valery Gergiev | Conductor
Ilya Gringolts | Violinist
Nobuko Imai | Violist
Andrei Ionuț Ioniță | Cellist
Leonidas Kavakos | Violinist
Evgeny Kissin | Pianist
Daniel Lozakovich | Violinist
Mischa Maisky | Cellist
Mikhail Pletnev | Conductor, Pianist
Thomas Quasthoff | Baritone
Julien Quentin | Pianist
Vadim Repin | Violinist
Rias Kammerchor | Choir
Sir András Schiff | Conductor, Pianist
Dmitry Sitkovetsky | Violinist
Gábor Takács-Nagy | Conductor
Blythe Teh Engstroem | Violinist, Violist
Daniil Trifonov | Pianist
Kirill Troussov | Violinist
Maxim Vengerov | Violinist
Yuja Wang | Pianist
Tabea Zimmermann | Violist
Pinchas Zukerman | Violinist, Violin and direction
Edgar Moreau | Cellist
Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra
Emily Edmonds | Mezzo-soprano
Richard Goode | Pianist
Brendan Kane | Double bassist
Denis Kozhukhin | Pianist
Rodion Shchedrin | Composer


Johann Sebastian Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major, BWV 1048

Pablo de Sarasate / Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Navarra Fantasy

Peter Heidrich, “Happy Birthday” Variations


Bedrich Smetana, Sonata for two pianos 8 hands

Johannes Brahms, “Souvenir de la Russie”, 6 Fantasies on Russian and Gipsy melodies for piano, 4 hands

Johann Sebastian Bach / Mikhaïl Pletnev, “Joys of Man’s Desiring” for 2 pianos

Sergei Rachmaninov, Romance in A Major, for six hands

Antonín Dvořák, Slavonic Dances, Op. 722. Allegretto gracioso
Antonín Dvořák, Slavonic Dances, Op. 46No. 5 in A major

Sergei Rachmaninov, Italian Polka for four hands piano in E-flat minor TN II/21

Sergei Rachmaninov, Suite for two pianos No. 1 Op. 5I. Barcarolle. Allegretto, in G minor

Witold Lutosławski, Paganini variations for Two Pianos

Gioachino Rossini, William Tell


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ave verum corpus, K. 618

George Frideric Handel, Messiah44. Hallelujah (chorus)

Johann Strauss II, Polka, Op.332

Stephan Koncz / Johann Strauss II / Cole Porter / Göran Fröst, Verbier Mix

Johann Strauss II, Die Fledermaus Overture

Gioachino Rossini, William Tell Overture

Bet it cost a king’s ransom too.

In a normal conditions, yes. But since this is Verbier Festival, I wouldn’t be surprised that they all did it for free. I think all of them are playing at this years edition of it, and since it became THE festival, it’s also matter of prestige to play on such a gala concert. I would say that it was their nice gesture to Martin Engstrom.

I meant it would cost a lot to attend; Verbier prices are usually insane (plus you have to get there and worry about accommodation). All of this pretty much means I’ll never attend. Maybe one day I’ll go to La Roque d’Anthéron, but even then it’s a pain in the ass.

Kozhukhin is a beast.

I’m too economical(/boring) to attend either… Verbier’s concerts are usually broadcast, and at La Roque you’d get poor acoustics and an armada of insects accompanying the music. I’d rather choose individual concerts myself in venues which are likely to give me a good recording to bring with me home, and unlikely to be recorded by radio/TV or other tapers. There are lots of both halls and pianists I could imagine travelling to hear currently - at the very top of my list are Volodos/Pletnev/Zimerman, since neither are likely to play in my city again (maybe Volodos), and I’d love to experience Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Vienna’s Musikverein in particular. Much more expensive, but Japan would be a lot of fun too at some point. Especially simply as a tourist destination, but if I ever do go I’d definitely try to time it with a concert. Both Tokyo, Yokohama and Tokorozawa have wondrous halls.

If you ever do and come to Kyushu, let me know!
True, I was amazed that even relatively small towns in rural areas in Japan have pretty nice halls with good acoustics. HOWEVER, more than once the pianos in them are quite bad. Probably because of what we discussed with Michael - humidity, heat and lack of climate control. Plus that in Kyushu, far away from Tokyo, there’s a big lack of capable technicians who can take good care of Steinways.
For example, I played some years ago on this new instrument in “Harmony Hall”, Yame (a rich town famous for its green tea), brand new Steinway D but it sounded dreadful

Will do! It’s likely far away though unless a friend takes the initiative - I have a lot to crop off here in Europe too which would come at a quarter of the price. It’s not that expensive actually to take a weekend trip to catch a concert, the total cost from here appears to be around 300€ for most major European cities. It’s ludicrously expensive for a concert/recording, but if one sees it as a way to see a bit of Europe at the same time it is in fact doable even to take one every 4-5 week or so. Harder to defend with a clear conscience perhaps.

I’m sorry to say finding a good hall/piano combo is near impossible here as well incidentally unless one feels like renting one of the major halls for 5000€/night. I’ve really tried on behalf of a local friend who’s a talented pianist/composer and who we’d like to find a feasible way to make good recordings of his compositions, but while there are pianos in essentially every church the majority of them aren’t a whole lot better than what we have at home, and the acoustics range from poor to abysmal in the places we’ve tried. It’s damn annoying that it’s proven to be so hard to arrange.

There aren’t any local conservatories with reasonable sounding halls?

Well, yes and no - there is, but it’s only open to students, and the recordings I’ve heard from it are only ~ok~. About like Mikhail’s Juilliard studio.