Conductor Guy Braunstein
Piano Denis Kozhukhin
Wagner Good Friday Spell (Charfreitagszauber), from Parsifal
Prokofiev Concerto No.2 in G minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op.16
Strauss, R. Also sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spake Zarathustra), TrV 176, Op.30
This performance has it all.
Taken from Wagner’s opera, Parsifal, about Arthurian knight Parsifal’s quest for the Holy Grail, Good Friday Spell is inspirational as musically it tries to evoke a karmic instance of renewal.
Prokofiev’s Concerto No.2, meanwhile, is a true heart racer spiked with folksy tunes and lightning rushes up and down the piano keys. No wonder it remains one of the most technically formidable piano concertos in the standard repertoire.
Strauss’ brass-fuelled Also sprach Zarathustra rounds out the trio and is – of course – instantly recognisable as the Sunrise theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Holy grails, heart racers and hits – what more could you ask for?