An all-Russian evening for tonight's Lyric Concert, showcasing the country's boundless gifts for gossamer-delicate fantasy and searing, heart-on-sleeve emotion in three timeless 20th-century classics - watch above.


Gubaidulina - Fairytale Poem / 10'

Rachmaninov - Piano Concerto No. 2 / 34’

Prokofiev - Selections from Cinderella / 45’

Joining the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra to celebrate the music of their homeland, conductor Michail Jurowski is 'a genuine wizard of the baton’ (Classiquenews) and young, rising-star pianist Daniel Kharitonov has ‘technique in spades… there is no doubting his potential is enormous’ (Classical Source).

Based on a dark-hued Czech children’s fable, Sofia Gubaidulina’s Fairytale Poem is the tale of a piece of chalk that dreams of drawing gardens, castles and the sea only to find, as it realises its ambition, that it has been all but worn away on scribbling mere words and numbers. Playful and poignant, Gubaidulina’s sweet-sour music also carries that frisson of danger and threat all the very best fairy tales have.

Immortalised in David Lean’s 1945 film Brief Encounter, Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto is a lush, luxuriant, overwhelming experience. Balancing pathos and passion, hurt and hope with virtuosic élan, it flexes its red-blooded Russian soul in some of the most immediately unforgettable, achingly beautiful and romantic music ever to sway lovers and listeners.

Casting magical musical spells, Prokofiev’s Cinderella is as rich, wonderful and fantastic as the timeless tale it is based on. A classic ballet score brimming over with unforgettable melodies, exhilarating drama, pantomime-like grotesquery and tear-inducing romance, it’s simply an unforgettable rush of colour and emotion.