Two fantastically difficult violin works stand at the centre of this concert: Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No 1 and Ravel’sTzigane. Soulful and bittersweet, the Prokofiev concerto dates from 1917, a tumultuous year in Russian history and an immensely productive year in the composer’s life. Ravel’sTzigane (the title means “Gypsy”), which was written for and dedicated to the legendary Hungarian violinist Jelly d’Arányi, is a brilliant, extended riff on Gypsy idioms.
Czech composer Dvořák shot to international fame with the Slavonic Dances, which pay homage to the folk traditions of his native land, as do theLachian Dances by his compatriot, Janáček.
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