Voices of Revolution: Exile & Return

Sunday 20 May 2018, 7:30pmRoyal Festival Hall, London

Philharmonia Box Office : 020 7921 3907

Vladimir Ashkenazy conductor

Pekka Kuusisto violin

Maxim Aksenov tenor

Prokofiev Seven, they are Seven

Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 1

--interval--

Prokofiev Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the Revolution

"You are a revolutionary in music, we are revolutionaries in life. We ought to work together. But if you want to go to America I shall not stand in your way." So said a 'People's Commissar' to Sergei Prokofiev, when the composer left to escape the chaos of the new Soviet Union in 1918. It would be 18 years before Prokofiev would return home permanently.

Two dramatic cantatas by Prokofiev were composed just before and after his self-imposed exile. Seven, They Are Seven (1917) takes its text from the Russian translation of an ancient Mesopotamian script. The massive Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the Revolution, featuring an accordion orchestra, military band, megaphone and maxim gun, brings the series to an earth-shattering close.

In between, Pekka Kuusisto returns for his second performance of the season: Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1, composed in the year 1917.

This concert is part of the Voices of Revolution: Russia 1917 series