News & Reviews: Review

July 2021

OperaPlus

1st July 2021

Anna Marie Hradecká

Pianist Kirill Gerstein and the Czech Philharmonic gave the audience back the joy of live music

I am sure I will not be the only one for whom Wednesday evening’s concert of star pianist Kirill Gerstein with the Czech Philharmonic under the direction of Semyon Bychkov had a special meaning. What seemed quite ordinary to all of us a year and a half ago, to sit in the auditorium of the Rudolfinum and enjoy a live concert performed by great musicians, suddenly seemed like a complete luxury and an extraordinary privilege. For my part, I hope that for once the brain’s mechanism for self-preservation – the tendency to forget everything unpleasant – does not work and that the gratitude and awareness of the preciousness of these opportunities remain in my mind for a long time, even though our cultural life will now – hopefully – get back into full swing.

The programme included Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 followed by Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4. In the second work in particular, my mind was jumping with excitement at the Orchestra’s completely perfect playing, conducted from memory by Semyon Bychkov without a score.