Blog # 37

October 6 2014

Today we are opening the season with "the Israeli-Siberian" orchestra, it is fair to call it so, because it is still fresh in memory how IPO came to Irkutsk for participation in the festival "Stars on Baikal". That was a great event not only for Irkutsk, but the whole of Russia, as well as the diving of Maestro Meta in the waters of lake Baikal.

Everyone is excited. Musicians from IPO come to me to talk about what they remembered during the trip, to make a declaration of love to Irkutsk and lake Baikal and to say that they definitely want to visit Irkutsk again. Maestro Mehta said that when we build a new concert hall, he with IPO will definitely come and play at its opening. So that is settled. And we know that Zubin Mehta’s word is law.

IPO is an outstanding, versatile team led by a unique man, Zubin Mehta, with whom I was fortunate enough not only to perform, but also to talk and be friends. This season opening concert in Tel Aviv for me gives the start to a series of six concerts where I am going to perform Third Concerto for piano and orchestra by S. V. Rachmaninoff and Third Concerto by L. Beethoven.

The fact that I'm going to play the Third Concerto by Rachmaninoff with Zubin Mehta, is a special and deeply personal event. One of the most soulful, heartfelt interpretations for me has always been the performance of Rachmaninoff’s Third Concerto by Horowitz in new York in 1978 with New York Philharmonic Orchestra under baton of Zubin Mehta. For me and for all students at the Central music school at the time this performance was, as reference book: we raved about this record, knew every note, interpretation and watched the performance a million times. The magic of Horowitz fascinates from the very first seconds: quiet culminations and unique sound of the piano, which penetrated deep into this, we can say, king of all piano concertos. And, of course, his friendship with Rachmaninoff, who heard the interpretation of Horowitz, knew him, loved and blessed him for the performance of his concerts. A special bond between the Creator of the musical text and its performer. So for me, every meeting with Zubin Mehta is, in addition to the master class on the stage, performance and improvisation, the remembrance of those times when he played with such pianists like Horowitz, Gilels or Arthur Rubinstein. By the way, they’ve kept intact the piano of Rubinstein in the dressing room after the reconstruction of the Concert Hall of the Philharmonic Society in Tel Aviv. Rubinstein is a legend here. The famous contest after his name is held in Tel Aviv. Zubin Mehta told me a lot about communication with Horowitz, and about rehearsals with him, and their interpretation, vision, dialogue. For me, those memories are a real treasure, a unique opportunity through one legend to come into contact with another legend of the time, because, I am absolutely sure, there is no one indifferent pianist who would not admire, revere, idolize Horowitz.

With the inspiration from Israel. Your Denis Matsuev.

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