Cecylia Arzewski has been concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony for the last 18 years of her 38-year orchestral career. And now she's ready for the next chapter. Before retiring from the orchestra this summer, Cecylia Arzewski makes her farewell solo appearance with the ASO, performing a piece she hasn't played in public since age 14: the Violin Concerto by Aram Khatchaturian.
Bracketing that Soviet concerto are two colorful Russian showpieces. The Russian Easter Overture by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov evokes the two strands of celebration - the devout religious proceedings and the pagan merry-making - that he sensed in Easter morning festivities.
And Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition portrays artworks by his friend Victor Hartmann, from an exhibit mounted after Hartmann's death at age 39. Mussorgsky's original piano pieces depict children at play, a lumbering ox, dancing chicks, a troubadour, French market women, Baba Yaga's hut, Polish Jews and a proposed Great Gate of Kiev. Maurice Ravel arranged this popular orchestral version.
Roberto Minczuk conducts this concert recorded in March at Atlanta's Symphony Hall. Host Sarah Zaslaw speaks with both him and soloist Cecylia Arzewski. Please join us, Thursday, June 2 at 8 p.m. and Sunday June 5 at 10 p.m. over GPB Radio and gpb.org.
(Next week: Robert Spano conducts the world premiere of Q & A by Venezuela's Gonzalo Grau; ASO principal cellist Christopher Rex gives the first Atlanta performance of Samuel Barber's nearly impossible Cello Concerto; and Tchaikovsky grapples with his sexuality and fate in his Fourth Symphony.)