On 30th March the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire hosted the second concert by the National Symphony Orchestra
To open the concert, the NSO musicians once again repeated Old and Lost Rivers by contemporary American composer Tobias Picker. Then, in the first part of the performance, Alisa Weilerstein offered a virtuoso rendition of Elgar's Cello Concerto.
Before the beginning of the concert, in the interview with the Kultura Channel, the soloist told how she met Mstislav Rostropovich. «I think that Rostropovich played a huge role in the life of every cellist and in fact in every musician's life. I grew up on his recordings, he was one of my musical idols. I played for him only once, in 2004, when I was 22 years old and was about to finish school. I had the chance to play for Rostropovich thanks to Maxim Vengerov, with whom I performed and who is my wonderful friend. I played for the Maestro Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No.1. Rostropovich made a very strong impression on me telling about the unique way of performing Shostakovich's music. He was so close to me that his foot was almost touching the tail pin of my cello, so there were no secrets for him. It was an incredible and exciting experience, to play a piece that was written specifically for him. I will never forget this». In addition, Alisa Weilerstein admitted that it is a great honour for her to perform for the second time at the festival organized by Olga Rostropovich, as this is a wonderful occasion to pay tribute to the legendary musician.
The second part of the concert opened with Shostakovich's Symphony No. 8. Mstislav Rostropovich conducted this masterpiece on various occasions at the major international venues. For the second night in a row the audience gave a standing ovation, to express their appreciation and gratitude to the NSO musicians and Maestro Eschenbach. The audience was rewarded with Sibelius' Valse triste played as encore.
As soon as tomorrow, on 31st March, the National Symphony Orchestra will perform in St Petersburg, repeating tonight's programme at the Grand Hall of the St.