Tuesday, March 20, 2018
America vs. Russia at the SF Symphony
Behzod Abduraimov, a 27-year-old piano phenom from Uzbekistan, followed with an outrageously exciting performance of Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto, playing it faster and louder than seemed possible while modulating the dynamics beautifully for the gentler sections of the piece. (Photo credit Stefan Cohen.)
In 2012 I heard Horacio Gutiérrez play the concerto with Susanna Mälkki conducting the SF Symphony, and the work sounded completely different than Thursday's wildly percussive account, but what's interesting is that both approaches worked. Whenever a Prokofiev piece is played this well, I fall in love with the composer's music all over again. He created a balance between conservative and modernist musical styles that very few composers have negotiated as well.