Celebrating Beethoven's genius Concert: The St. Petersburg State Symphony will perform the composer's Violin Concerto at the Naval Academy Alumni Hall.

November 12, 1998|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The music world owes 19th-century violinist Joseph Joachim a tremendous debt of gratitude.

This great fiddler was a musical purist who stayed true to the highest callings of his art in an age of virtuosic excess. It was Joachim who, at midcentury, went against the grain to champion Beethoven's celestial but unflashy Violin Concerto. He played it everywhere, composed a cadenza for the first movement that most violinists still play, and saw to it that Beethoven's handiwork would forever be seen as one of the supreme musical accomplishments.

Music lovers can celebrate Beethoven's genius and at the same time tip their thanks to Joachim's direction by attending a concert by Russia's St. Petersburg State Symphony at Alumni Hall at the Naval Academy at 7: 30 p.m. today.

Ravel Martynov, the orchestra's music director, will conduct Nikolai Rimski-Korsakov's immensely colorful symphonic saga "Scheherazade," as well as the Beethoven Violin Concerto.

Soloing in the concerto will be Russian violinist Igor Oistrakh, son of David Oistrakh, one of the 20th century's supreme masters of the violin.

David Oistrakh was a master teacher who mentored an entire generation of Russian violinists. None turned out to be more talented than his son, who has established a major international career.

Igor Oistrakh, 67, remains one of his country's most distinguished musical ambassadors, with many fine recordings to his credit as well as solo performances in the world's most prestigious venues.

The orchestra will have ample opportunity to showcase its tonal palette when it plays "Scheherazade," Rimski-Korsakov's alluring take on the "Arabian Nights" stories.

A well-regarded Russian orchestra let loose in its native repertoire should be a treat indeed, especially with a star soloist playing the greatest violin concerto of all.

Tickets: 410-268-6060.

Pub Date: 11/12/98

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