The thirty-three-year-old director of Uzbek origin Aziz Shokhakimov directed an attractive and crackling program for the Rai symphonic season: opening with Rachmaninov’s Third Concerto for piano and orchestra, now renamed “Rach3” after the success of the 1996 film “Shine”, an abundant composition that after its enchanting debut is forced to heavy repetitions to give vent to a sixth degree of technical virtuosity. Fortunately, the pianist invited to the Toscanini auditorium was the Ukrainian Vadym Kholodenko who understood this virtuosity not as athletic strength, but as agility of inspiration and imagination: naturally with all the energy of chance, but without violating the instrument, discovering the character of each episode or picture in all its vitality. Thus the Concerto in its rediscovery continuity raised the enthusiasm of the public; so much so that Kholodenko, after that avalanche of notes, still had the generosity to devote himself to chiseling three unscheduled pieces, of unknown origin but very clear in spirit and elegance.
Second part with the sparkling suite from Stravinsky’s “Petruska”: the director chose the suite in the 1947 edition, less glittering than the original 1911 one, and for a slightly reduced staff; the skill of the first parts of the orchestra was accentuated as well as the importance of the piano, played by Francesco Bergamasco, as antagonist of the orchestra. Shokhakimov has an extroverted and communicative way of directing and managing: every detail shone with its perfection and its dazzling colors, without interrupting the continuous flow of the work; the lock is very beautiful, with the sound going out in a mysterious winter light.