Russian National Orchestra in Concert

Featured Performers

  • Nikolaj Znaider, violin
  • Piotr Anderszewski, piano
  • Stephane Deneve, conductor, Russian National Orchestra
Russian National Orchestra.

Russian National Orchestra. hide caption

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Piotr Anderszewski.

Piotr Anderszewski. hide caption

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Nikolaj Znaider.

Nikolaj Znaider. hide caption

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Stephane Deneve.

Stephane Deneve. hide caption

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Stephane Deneve, live at Festival del Sole.

Stephane Deneve, live at Festival del Sole. J. Henry Fair hide caption

itoggle caption J. Henry Fair

Yountville, California, is primarily known as one of the vineyard capitals of the world, but this week it's home to Festival del Sole, a new classical-music festival anchored by the Russian National Orchestra. Fred Child, host of NPR's Performance Today, hosts this exclusive webcast, featuring pianist Piotr Anderszewski and violinist Nicolai Znaider, with Stephane Deneve conducting the Russian National Orchestra at Lincoln Theater.

The Mother Goose Suite by Maurice Ravel

The concert opens with Maurice Ravel's Mother Goose Suite, a set of five dreamy musical fairy tales. Ravel originally composed these stories of Sleeping Beauty, Tom Thumb, the Empress of the Pagodas, Beauty and the Beast and the Fairy Garden for two of his friends to play — a 6-year-old and a 7-year-old, sitting side-by-side at the piano. Ravel also created this version of Mother Goose for orchestra, with a result that's full of childlike fantasy and playful innocence.

Sinfonia Concertante by Karol Szymanowski

The electric young Polish pianist Piotr Anderszewski has made a cause out of promoting the music of his visionary musical countryman, composer Karol Szymanowski. Anderszewski has recorded much of Szymanowski's solo piano music, but not this virtual Piano Concerto: the "Sinfonia Concertante," which Szymanowski wrote in the 1930s, after having turned away from French Impressionism and German late Romanticism to forge his own distinctive style.

Violin Concerto by Jean Sibelius

Before he found his place as Finland's greatest composer and national hero, Jean Sibelius desperately wanted to become a violin virtuoso. He practiced, he auditioned and he stuck with it for 10 years before he realized he was never going to make it. His beautiful, dramatic, tightly wound Violin Concerto contains all of the pent-up desires of this would-be violinist, and all of the most difficult technical challenges that he himself was never able to master.

Daphnis and Chloe Suite No. 2 by Maurice Ravel

Ravel wrote this lush and sensuous music for his ballet, Daphnis and Chloe. The story is of an ancient Greek shepherd and shepherdess who are clueless in love, but who discover their passion for each other deep in the woods after a kidnapping, a visit by a temptress and a bacchanalian feast. The action begins quietly, in a cave at sunrise. Ravel considered his impressionistic score "a large fresco painting, less in keeping with antiquity than with the Greece of my dreams."

Festival del Sole is the sister event to the highly regarded Tuscan Sun Festival in Cortona, Italy. From July 16 to July 23, Festival del Sole features an assortment of world-renowned performers, as well as regional wine-tastings and culinary events in Napa Valley.

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